What Are GAF Solar Shingles?

The GAF solar shingles also referred to as photovoltaic shingles, are an innovative solar technology that is designed to look and function like regular roofing shingles. The main benefit of GAF solar energy system is visual, as the roof looks completely normal to the naked eye.

Just like conventional solar panels, GAF solar shingles collect energy from the sun and then either store it in a battery or convert it into an alternating current, that will be used to power appliances and devices in the home.

Timberline Solar™ Energy Shingles are the first solar shingles that can be nailed to a roof, which means they are very easy to install. Any GAF-certified roofing professional can install these solar shingles with just a nail gun.

GAF Solar ShinglesTypes of solar shingles

Solar shingles are made of one of two types of solar cells: monocrystalline silicon cells and CIGS cells. CIGS cells are thin and flexible solar shingles that have a high conversion efficiency, while the monocrystalline silicon cells are a natural semiconductor and are used in conventional rooftop panels. They are usually more expensive than CIGS cells.

GAF Solar Shingles Vs Solar Panels. What is the difference?

GAF Solar Shingles and Solar Panels work the same way, the difference is in appearance. While regular solar panels are put on top of your roof and are visible and recognizable, solar shingles are integrated into a roof and function as tiles or shingles. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between the two types.


Although Timberline Solar™ Energy Shingles use the same technology as solar panels, they are overall less efficient as they don’t allow for as much airflow under them. This means they don’t cool as easily as regular panels. The bigger your roof is the smaller this issue can be as the solar shingles capture more sunlight.


You might be surprised to learn that solar shingles can be more durable than regular asphalt shingles. They tend to be lighter, which makes them more suitable for homes that cannot hold too much roof weight. Some models of solar shingles can even withstand extreme weather and are fire-resistant, which is a great benefit.


The main benefit of solar shingles is their subtle appearance. Depending on the brand, the solar shingles can practically blend in with your roof completely.


If you are planning to replace your roof and are also considering installing solar panels, you could kill two birds with one stone. When you install solar shingles, they also serve as a brand new roof that is more durable. This can potentially be less costly than building a new roof and then installing solar panels on top of it.

Solar shingles are an innovative product with some undeniable advantages over conventional solar panels, namely their visual resemblance with regular shingles and their cost efficiency in situations where a homeowner gets a new roof or a replacement.

Are solar shingles better than solar panelsAre solar shingles better than solar panels?

There’s no straightforward answer, as there are a lot of factors to consider. Solar shingles aren’t yet sold all over the country, so you’d need to start by checking their availability in your area. Another factor to consider is the current condition of your roof – if you are planning on renovating it soon anyway, solar shingles might be the optimal option for you. The third factor is the cost-effectiveness, which might be less of a priority if you’d rather have an aesthetically pleasing roof. And the last factor is energy efficiency that would depend more on the square foot surface that you’re planning to cover with solar shingles.

At the end of the day, the decision would be based on the unique needs and resources of the homeowner or business owner.

Renewable energy that is pollution free and provides more independency from foreign fuels, is becoming more and more accessible every year. Installing solar panels or shingles on the roof of your home or business is by far the easiest way to harness the sun’s energy.

The best way to opt for solar is to compare all pros and cons of different types of solar energy systems. Depending on where you live and the size of your roof plus personal preferences, you might benefit more from solar shingles than solar panels.

Companies have tackled the idea of solar shingles for years, failed to make them cost-competitive with regular solar panels. They have been expensive to manufacture, and have stayed on the down low.

That was until GAF Energy, the sister company of one of the biggest roofing companies in the world has taken on solar shingles. They released Timberline Solar, which is more affordable and accessible. One of the main breakthroughs is the installment of their solar shingles – they are the first on the market that are very easy to install and don’t require any additional gear. Timberline Solar won the Best of Innovation Award for Smart Cities at CES.

Contact us now

If you’re ready to lower your energy bills, reduce your carbon footprint and become energy independent, a solar energy system is the way to go. Roof Fix San Antonio can install or repair both your roof and a solar system, including solar shingles. We also offer a lifetime warranty on labor and materials.

Roof Fix is the #1 rated solar installation company as well as the only certified GAF Energy solar contractor in San Antonio and South Texas.