Solar Panels: Do they work in cold environments?

Blog Post by SunSource Homes

Solar panels are designed to maximize sun light, but what happens when those sunny days are shortened – or gone altogether? 

What happens when snow hits? If you live in a cold, snowy area is it still worth it to get solar panels? Let’s look at the facts.


A commonly perpetuated myth is that solar panels don’t work when it’s snowing. However, snow can actually boost your panels’ performance! The white snow acts as a reflector for light, boosting their production. The only way snow will negatively impact your production is if you leave your panels covered. Solar panels need sun to produce power so if your panels remain covered in snow they won’t be able to do their jobs.

Solar panels in cold environment

Here’s a few tips for safely getting rid of that pesky snow:

1. Wait for it to melt. Most solar panels sit at an angle. If that’s the case with yours, the snow will melt and run off on its own.

2. Spray it off with a hose. Just be careful if you choose to do this. You don’t want the snow to turn into ice. Make sure you pay attention to temperature differences.

3. Use a roof rake. It’s just a s simple as raking your yard but, you know, on the roof.

However you decide to get rid of the snow, make sure you never use rock salt, car wax, or RainX on your panels as you will likely cause some damage to your roof. And NEVER use hot water on your cold panels or you could possibly fracture them!


Aside from the production, you may be concerned that a heavy snowfall could damage your panels. You needn’t fret though. Solar panels are tough, built to withstand all the elements.

Every solar panel endures pressure tests that assess its durability and quality. Panels are then given rating with higher pressure ratings indicating higher levels of endurance and vice-versa. When you receive quotes for purchasing solar panels, check the brand and model and look at its pressure ratings. If snow concerns you, make sure you pick a panel that has a great pressure rating.


Cold, sunny weather is ideal. You’ll find that, just like most electronics, your solar panels will actually function more efficiently in colder conditions than in hot conditions. The days may be shorter but your panels will produce more power each sunny hour.


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Want to know more about going solar? Check out this helpful information from our Solar 101 series!