solar panels and critter guards

Solar Panels, Pests, and Critter Guards – What You Need to Know

Should “critter” concerns stop you from going solar?

For most homeowners, going solar means mounting an array of solar panels on your roof. As with any home improvement project that involves the roof over your family’s head, this sometimes makes homeowners anxious. One topic that our energy consultants are asked about a lot involves solar and pests: the concern that rooftop solar panels will become a magnet for nesting animals who might become an annoyance or even damage the panels or the home’s roof.

As with most maintenance-related concerns, our experience from thousands of solar installs shows that rooftop pests are usually far less of a problem than homeowners fear. Still, it’s a natural question for homeowners who are just starting to research solar to ask – especially when some solar installer companies exaggerate the issue in order to sell add-on features.

The risk of animals causing damage to the panels themselves is minimal. People sometimes assume that solar panels are fragile because they look so much like ordinary panes of glass, but modern solar panels are highly durable, engineered to stand up to the weather for a warrantied lifespan of over 20 years.

Homeowners might also worry about small animals nesting underneath the panels in the space between the panels and the roof itself. Some solar installers make a point of raising this fear during their consultations with potential customers, and then offer the homeowner “critter guards” designed to stop pests from getting underneath the panel. Our experience is that these are typically not needed – solar panels are designed to attract and capture the maximum possible amount of sunlight, so the area under panels can get very hot. This does not make for a hospitable environment for critters in most regions of the country, so they tend to stay away on their own accord.

For those homeowners who do want the additional peace of mind, we’re happy to include critter guards as an optional add-on, but our energy consultants will never exaggerate unfounded concerns to “upsell” a homeowner on something they don’t need.

If you’d like to discuss this topic or any other questions you have about solar, use this link to schedule a convenient, no-pressure conversation with one of our energy consultants today – and be sure to follow us on social media so you don’t miss any of our solar education blog posts.