Today’s solar panels are relatively maintenance-free. The sleek design, black-on-black color, and sophisticated technology mean that snow melts quickly, and other debris glides off without you needing to give it a second thought.
However, here in the Midwest, heavy and seemingly never-ending snowfall is a simple fact of life. When the accumulation is particularly brutal, or the snow-rain mix turns to ice-ice (baby), it shouldn’t be an issue for your solar panels.
A little bit of attention can go a long way to keep your residential solar panels operating at their peak performance throughout the winter season and well into spring and summer.
Solar panel maintenance tasks are pretty easy, and we believe that anyone who can brush snow off of their car or shovel their driveway can keep their solar panels in good shape. Following are the top ways to ensure your solar panels are operating optimally in winter months, and you’re generating enough power for your home.
Keep Those Solar Panels Clean and Clear
Winter weather has an interesting relationship with solar power. On one hand, the cold weather can actually boost their performance. On the other hand, a heavy layer of snow may take a little longer to melt for the sun to reach the panels. The simple solution is to keep the panels as clear of snow and ice as possible.
Solar panels typically get warm enough from the sun’s rays to melt a layer of snow on their own. If you want to be more proactive and soak up that sun faster, use a soft snow brush.
IMPORTANT SUN BADGER DISCLAIMER! You should only try to do this if the panels are easy to access and you can get to the snow without risking a fall or other accident. After all, there’s no reason to risk getting hurt over a little bit of extra electricity.
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.
Conserve, Conserve, Conserve
Your solar panels may end up generating less power during the winter (who does the sun think it is going down so soon?!), so it’s a good idea to make sure you aren’t wasting any. That will help to make up for any losses in their output. Maintaining good conservation practices after the winter ends will even allow you to reap the benefits of lower energy usage during the summer months.
Most people waste power by leaving lights turned on and gadgets plugged in when they are not in use. That may not seem like a big deal, but even a sleeping coffee machine simply sitting on the counter plugged in to the wall is still using power. A little waste will add up over time, so it is worth putting in the extra effort to turn things off when you don’t need them.
Heat loss is another large waste of energy. Heat can seep out windows, gaps in door frames and cracks in walls. Using insulated or thermal curtains, weatherstripping doors and patching cracks can reduce heat loss and conserve more energy.
Solar panels reduce power bills and protect the environment during every part of the year. Contact us today for a free solar consultation if you’re ready to take the plunge and harness the sun’s power.