What Is the Best Direction for Solar Panels to Face?

solar panels direction

To get an ideal charge from solar panels, they need to take in as much sunshine as possible. If you’re about to install solar panels on your home, you might wonder which direction is best to place your solar panels. To get the most out of your investment, you need to select a way that will best gather light.

Read on to learn more about the best direction for solar panels to face on a home. Once you know which one will work best for your home, you can inform those installing the panels of your decision. From there, you can start powering your location in a more energy-efficient manner.

The Best Direction for Solar Panels to Face


If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, the best direction for your solar panels to face is south. The sun runs along the south in the sky, so you’ll obtain the most sunlight you can. This direction reverses if you live in the Southern Hemisphere, but for those in the United States, you’ll want your panels to face south.

Of course, not everyone can have solar panels on their home that face south. We’ll talk a little later about what to do in this case and if other directions are a viable option if you want to obtain energy from your solar panels.

Is There a Particular Angle the Solar Panel Should Be?


You have the direction down, but what about the angle? Is there a particular way it should be positioned to work in tandem with the southward direction? Although a specific angle isn’t too critical, there are certain angles various zip codes can try to obtain the most sunlight. If you want to make the most out of your investment, these are vital to consider.

Some examples of ideal angles for solar panels in some United States locations include:

  • Thirty-five degrees year-round in Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Thirty degrees year-round in Austin, Texas
  • Forty-two degrees year-round in Boston, Massachusetts

These are just a few examples of degrees ideal for cities in the United States. There are varying degrees best for different cities across the country, based on the sun’s position at certain times of the year.

Combined with a southward-facing solar panel, using the particular angle for your city will allow maximum sunlight intake for your solar panels. Soon, you will be enjoying maximum input from a natural source that is sure to make a great impact on the world around you.

Are Any Other Directions Effective?


Although the south is best, if necessary, you can use the east or west. You will get less charge, but the panels can still catch sunlight if you place them at this orientation angle. If you are going on the east or west roof slopes – it is usually best to have no tree shading on those roofs. However, if you have a south option, you should go with that one over choosing east and west. It will give you the most for what you put into them.

Some people might only have the ability to place solar panels on the north side of their house. If this applies to you, it can be discouraging to realize that you may not have the ideal location for solar panels on a home, particularly if you have already invested in them. We will go over this direction next, so you can figure out what to do if this is your type of home.

What If You Only Have a North Option?


If you only have the option of placing panels on the north side of your home, you can still do it. However, you need to know that it is the worst place on your home that you can install these pieces. You will get the least amount of light, and you might even need to use racking – facing them south – to attempt to gather as much sunlight as possible.

A north option may not provide you with as much power, but solar panels are one of the best ways to go for clean energy. There are ways to work with north-facing solar panels that will still work for whatever you need them for in your life. It is not the end of the world, and you can still use clean energy for your home.

Does the Steepness of the Roof Impact Solar?


The steepness of the roof can impact how much power your panels obtain, even if it is on the south side of your home. If you have a super steep roof, the sun will have a difficult time hitting the panel early and later in the day and installation is more difficult.

You will know you have a steep roof if yours has the following factors:

  • Has a pitch of forty degrees or more (Latitude is optimal)
  • Steeper roof though allow snow to fall off faster.

These two factors should be both visible and measurable on your roof. You can get them checked out ahead of time for the best results when the time comes to install.

You should determine what impact your steep roof will have both financially and solar output wise, before you invest in panels to prepare for the installation process.

In Conclusion


If you want to get the most sun out of your solar panels, the best option for most homes in the Northern Hemisphere is to put them in a south-facing position. Although other directions will work fine, the south will gather the most sunlight and allow you to enjoy green energy as it flows down from the sky.

If you want to learn more about solar panels, we can help you out. We offer quality solar panels for everything from homes to places of business. We even give you pre-wiring features and site assessment for your home, ideal if you are just getting started in the solar panel process. Contact us for solar installation in Bend, Oregon, Portland, Oregon, Colorado Springs, Marlborough, Massachusetts, or New Haven, Connecticut.

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