As the temperatures drop and snow continues to fall, most Midwesterners are hunkering down for several months of cozy hibernation. But not here at Sun Budger™ Solar! Our solar warriors are still out there–rain, shine or snow–completing solar panel installations on homes and businesses throughout Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota.
This is a common misconception about installing solar panels. In addition to thinking that solar panels don’t work in winter (we dispelled this one in our first blog, “Fake News About Solar Panels”), many people believe that solar panel companies can’t install during cold winter months. And that’s simply not true!
At Sun Badger™ Solar, we install all year round. The process is essentially the same, and in fact, winter months offer some great benefits to our solar technicians and homeowners/businesses alike. Following are the key benefits of completing a commercial or residential solar panel installation in the winter months.
Beat the Spring Rush
Most people wait until spring or summer to get started, and it can be a very busy time for us. You could end up competing with other homeowners and businesses to get your panels installed as quickly as possible. When you install in the winter, you beat the rush.
Maximize Your Solar Benefits
The sooner you have your solar panels installed, the sooner you can start taking advantage of energy credits and the maximum solar panel incentives offered by your state and the federal government. If you get online in winter, you’ll be all setup to start generating credits in the spring, summer and fall that will carry you through the next winter.
Improve Efficiency of Solar Panels
Just like how your phone glitches when it’s overheated, solar energy systems are limited by the high heat and scorching sun during summer. Solar panels are most efficient in cold, sunny conditions.
Don’t believe us? Consider the locations of two stations used by incredibly smart scientists–Antarctica and Space! The McMurdo Station, the U.S.’s primary hub of science operations, relies on solar power and is found in Antarctica. The International Space Station is also powered by the sun, and it’s found in temperatures so cold you can’t even imagine it!
Mix in some snow and you have an added benefit–bright white snow reflects light and can help improve PV performance (as long as the snow is not covering the panels, of course).
Better Conditions for Solar Installers
This might be hard to believe, but some of our solar technicians actually prefer working in the winter! During summer months, hot asphalt roofs with no shade from the blaring sun can make for extremely uncomfortable working conditions. In the winter, our technicians are able to bundle up as much as needed.
The winter does offer some challenges though, but we’re ready for it.
Preparing the Rooftop
The roof must be clear and dry to install the solar panels. So shoveling and melting the snow, and drying the roof becomes the most time-consuming task during the winter. We use roof rakes to pull snow from the roof while on the ground or a ladder, then apply a heating blanket of sorts, which slowly melts all the snow.
Protecting Our Installers
The safety of our employees is a top concern, not just in the winter but all year round. Because our first installation task is clearing the snow and drying the roof, our installers are up there in optimal conditions. We ensure that our installers have on the proper gear–warm jackets and boots, thick gloves, and when it’s really cold, balaclavas under their hard hats. We also take frequent breaks to warm up and recharge.
So don’t believe the myth that solar panels can’t be installed in winter months, and don’t wait until spring to get started on your installation! Contact us today with a free solar consultation.