As winter approaches, it's a good idea to think about what you’ll need to do to make sure your panels are still producing energy, even in the cold and not-so-great weather. Don't worry, though! With a few simple steps, you can keep your solar panels in great shape throughout the winter months. In this blog post, we'll cover some essential tips for taking care of your solar panels during winter.
It's super important to check your panels regularly to catch any possible issues early on. Start by looking for dirt, debris, or snow piling up on the panels. Snow, especially, can prevent energy production.
Trim Surrounding Trees
If you've got trees hanging around near your solar panels, make sure to trim any branches that might cast shadows on them. Branches can also become a bridge for critters to get onto your roof, so it’s best to remove them as soon as possible. Since the sun is lower in the sky during winter, even small obstructions can significantly impact your energy production.
Keep an Eye on Energy Output
You can monitor how your solar panel system is performing using your monitoring platform or app. If you see a sudden drop in energy production, don't panic! Enphase Enlighten shows errors due to micro-inverters not reporting. This doesn't necessarily mean anything is broken, but it could just mean the panels are covered in snow. If you see an error on your app, just check your panels and if possible clean them off with a snow rake.
Safely Clear Snow Buildup
Assuming you have a steeper pitch to your roof, the snow should slide right off your solar panels, and you should have no problem during the winter months. However, if you have a shallower roof and snow starts piling up on your panels, you'll want to get rid of it to get back to energy production. Just be sure to do it safely so you don't damage the panels or hurt yourself. We suggest that homeowners get foam tipped snow rakes to safely clean off their panels.
Avoid Abrasive Cleaning Materials
When it's time to clean your panels, stay away from the rough stuff, like steel wool or harsh chemicals. Instead, go for a gentle mix of mild detergent and water, plus a soft sponge or cloth. Kindly wipe the surface, taking care not to push too hard and scratch the glass.
Although we live in a state that is cold, the cooler weather actually allows for more efficient panel production. So long as your panels are free and clear of any obstructions, you will be set up to take advantage of the winter sun. Stay cozy and keep those solar panels shining bright!