Solar panel maintenance is just as necessary in winter as it is during sunnier times of the year. The tasks are not particularly laborious, but they still need to be done.
The thought of piles of snow landing on your roof and solar panel investment might cause you worry. Will your solar panel system hold up under the weather’s onslaught? What can you do to prepare and minimize potential damage?
Don’t Worry About a Lack of Energy Harvesting
First, understand how solar panels are designed to function. They absorb sunlight no matter what the temperature may be outside. In fact, many systems perform better in cold weather than hot weather.
While it’s true that winter daylight hours are shorter, solar panels convert energy even when it is cloudy, so the weather shouldn’t matter too much. Solar systems with battery backups are designed with the full year of weather patterns in mind, and the stored energy allows your home to run on solar power even when the overall daily harvest is lower.
Tilt Adjustable Panels to Accommodate Winter Sun
You can make it easier for your solar panels to function in the winter and maximize the energy harvest by shifting their angles. During the winter months, the sun hangs lower in the sky. If your panels are adjustable, lift or lower them to best expose them to the winter sun and reap the benefits.
Check Battery Levels
Winter is the perfect season to check the fluid level and charge on your solar cell batteries. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for battery inspections and maintenance. Enlist the services of a solar battery repair professional if you notice low fluid levels, cracked surfaces, damaged ports or unusually low voltage.
Consider Professional Snow Removal When Necessary
Solar panels are slick, and light snow coverings typically melt off the surface quickly. However, if it snows a considerable amount, you could see buildup on the solar panels’ surface, which could inhibit their function.
In general, snow removal is not a major issue. Since sun-powered systems store energy all year long, a pause in the energy harvesting will not affect the system’s output in a major way. But if you begin to see a drastic rise in energy bills and the panels have been covered with snow for some time, it might be time to clear them off.
It is possible to remove some snow with a soft-tipped roof rake, but never climb onto an icy roof in the winter. Call professionals who have the appropriate safety equipment to take care of removing the snow. Never use deicing salts or any other chemicals on the panels — you could void your warranty and damage the system in the process.
Contact Knockout Roofing for more information on solar panel maintenance throughout the winter and every other season — our experienced installation team can troubleshoot and take care of any problems right away.