As winter revs up and the snow begins to flurry, you may be wondering what that means for your solar panels and their production. Many people immediately believe that their solar panels will not work in the colder weather. This is not true! Solar panels actually function more efficiently in colder weather regardless of the fewer daylight hours in the winter. Just like your phone or computer, the cold causes your solar panels to be higher functioning.
How does snow affect my solar panels?
Snow may actually increase your panels’ production. Snow is very reflective. The sun will reflect off the snow, which can help increase their output of energy. However, you may see a drop in production when panels are completely covered with snow.
Having snow on your solar panels can temporarily slow down your output but it will not completely stop production. Solar panels use the sun’s light to make energy, not the sun’s heat. The actual production lost yearly from snow is very little, which still makes going solar a great solution to bring down high energy bills for your home.
You may be concerned your solar panels will be damaged by the weight of the snow. Don’t worry! In most cases snow is not going to be heavy enough to cause any damages to solar panels. Solar panels go through pressure tests to evaluate their quality to make sure that they are durable for even the heaviest of snowfalls. SunSource only uses tier 1 products to ensure the toughness and durability of your solar panels.
How should I clean my snow covered solar panels?
If your solar panels are completely covered in snow, they will not produce electricity. So what should you do? There are several ways you can get rid of the snow but the best way to clean off your solar panels is to do absolutely nothing.
Your solar panels can usually clear off snow quickly without any help. This is because they are usually mounted on the south facing side of the roof which receives the most sunlight. Panels are also installed at an angle, which helps the snow slide off. Any snow remaining will be melted off as the solar panels continue to absorb heat. Usually within a few days the snow will be gone.
But if you do not want to wait for the sun to do the job of melting the snow off your roof for you, you can clean off the snow yourself with a roof rake that has a rubber head. But be careful. You do not want to use anything sharp to clean your panels and risk damaging them. SunSource does not recommend that you climb onto the roof to clean off your solar panels. Getting on a clear roof is dangerous; combine that with ice and snow and you’ve exponentially increased your chances of falling off your roof and hurting yourself.
If you don’t want to risk climbing onto your roof, and you can’t wait for the sun to melt the snow away, hire a professional. There are local snow removal companies that offer rooftop clearing services. Hiring a professional is a safe way to get the snow off your solar panel system quickly and efficiently.
Why should I go solar?
Even in the snow and colder weather solar panels still generate energy. Going solar will increase your property value and will make your home easier to sell. You will be able to earn a great return on your investment. It only takes the average homeowner seven to eight years to pay off their solar panel system. Solar is a great way to produce renewable energy for your home and can reduce or even get rid of those high electric bills.
Want to learn more about solar? Here are a few articles to get you started.
Visit our Solar 101 section for more
Written By: Regan Textor