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How to keep snow off your solar panels


Winter can be the most wonderful time of the year. And many people look forward to days spent sledding and starting impromptu snowball fights. But what can be a great resource to family memories can put a damper on your solar energy system's energy production. If you’re worried about your system after a fresh snowfall, here’s some advice to get you through the winter months.

Will snow damage my system?

Not likely. Most panels can hold around 2-4 feet of snow without a problem. Manufacturers actually guarantee a certain amount of weight your panels can withstand without it causing any harm. And the cold isn’t really an issue with panels. Because they are meant to withstand harsh weather, the snow isn’t really a concern when it comes to the integrity of your system.

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Can snowfall reduce energy production?

Yes. Your system needs sunlight to produce energy. If there is heavy snowfall on your panels, that snow is likely blocking any light from reaching your solar cells. Depending on where you live, this can have a negative impact on your energy production.

Should I clean it off?

Actually, no. In fact, most warranties recommend you don’t. Turns out, the sun is likely to melt the snow on your panels much quicker than it would even on the ground or on your roof itself. With a little patience, you should be back to producing kilowatts of clean energy as usual.

If you are in an extreme situation and the snow isn’t melting off, call your provider and ask them what you should do. They might even be able to recommend a panel cleaning service that won’t void your warranty. But, in the end, it’s likely whatever you pay to clean it will cost more than what you’ll be able to save in the days it would take the snow to melt. So if you find that your panels are covered in snow, the best thing to do is just sit back and let the sun do the work. After all, that’s what solar energy systems are for.

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