Your home’s energy costs are determined by the amount of energy used to power your home. Your HVAC system, lights, refrigerator, and a host of other appliances depend on electricity to function properly. Naturally, the more energy we use, the more expensive our bills will be.

Homeowners know that there are ways to reduce household energy costs that also promote a more eco-conscious lifestyle, like installing higher quality insulation materials and replacing worn-out HVAC systems. Alternatively, installing solar panel products can solve the problems of an inefficient home right at the source—using sunlight, a renewable source of energy, instead of fossil fuels to power your home.

Solar panels for residential use became very popular in the 90s. However, today’s solar panels are stronger, more reliable, and more affordable than ever. Even so, many homeowners are curious about solar panels and how they work. One of the most frequent questions we’re asked at Mr. Roofing is how solar panels work on cloudy days—and whether solar roofing systems can truly serve as a high-performance alternative to traditional energy in the home.

How Do Solar Panels Work?

Before diving into the deep questions related to solar panels, it’s important to understand how they actually work. At their most basic level, solar panels are designed to convert sunlight into a direct current. At that point, an inverter turns this current into an alternating current. This alternating current is what most houses run on.

It’s true that on sunny days, solar panels can produce more electricity than you need to run your home. The good news is that when this occurs, you can receive a credit via net metering. The way this works is the excess electricity is routed back to the grid used by the utility company, which can be used to power other homes, businesses, and constructions in the area. Plus, you can also draw on that credit at night to account for the lack of sunlight.

What About Cloudy Days?

It’s true that clouded, overcast skies can have an effect on the efficiency of your solar panels. However, this impact is far less than you would expect! Just like a person who gets sunburned on a cloudy day, the sun is still there, and never stops shining—and your solar panels will pick up the sunlight through the clouds to produce electricity. In most cases, the drop in solar panel efficiency only ranges somewhere between 10%-25%, depending on the extent of cloud coverage.

Fortunately, recent advancements in solar roofing systems have been developed which minimizes this. For example, one such development is the use of solar panels that capture a broader range of light. What this means is that red and blue wavelengths among other wavelengths can be collected, allowing for more solar energy to be produced.

Understanding the Solar Roofing Systems

When considering if it’s worth investing in San Francisco solar energy, there are some important things to understand and remember:

  • Cold and Cloudy is OK: This may be surprising, but cooler and cloudier environments such as San Francisco and the Bay Area are actually well-suited to using solar panels. Regardless of the many days of rain, fog, and other inclement weather throughout the year, you can still save big by switching to solar. San Francisco solar energy is extremely popular and one of our most requested installation projects at Mr. Roofing. This is due to the naturally high cost of electricity and the environmentally friendly culture we live in.

  • Don’t Sweat the Cool, Bay Area Breezes: Solar panels depend on sunlight to function, but don’t rely on scorching hot temperatures to function. In fact, they’re more efficient in cooler environments than hot ones. Once the temperature rises above 77 degrees, the efficiency of the panels begins to drop. While they still perform in the heat, you can relax knowing that San Francisco provides a naturally beneficial temperature for your solar roofing systems.
  • No Need to Fear Partial Shading: Whether it’s a tree or cloud covering your panels, you can expect the sun to be obscured at times. The good news is that just because a part of the solar panel is covered, that doesn’t mean the rest of the panel stops working at its best. For example, if 20% is covered, only that 20% will experience a drop in efficiency, while the rest of the panels (and 80%) will still work at peak performance.

San Francisco Solar Energy with Mr. Roofing

Chances are that you’ve thought about converting to San Francisco solar energy before. Our team understands the importance of solar energy in the Bay Area, which is why we offer the latest technologies and best solar panel products available, courtesy of the best manufacturers in the solar industry.

At Mr. Roofing, our team of skilled, professional roofers has proved itself as the area’s leading experts in solar roofing systems. Our goal is to help our customers slash their energy bills and improve the functionality and appearance of their homes, and we look forward to helping you reach that goal.

Ready to explore your options for solar roofing systems for your Bay Area home? Then give us a call to speak with us now, or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation with one of our roofing experts in your home.