Winter Upkeep Tips for Your Solar Panels

There are a few areas of a given property that may require just a bit of standard upkeep and maintenance during the colder parts of the year, and solar panels on the roof of your home or business are a great example. With nothing but a few very simple and occasional steps, you can ensure that your solar panels remain in great shape and producing quality energy throughout the winter. 

At Intermountain Wind & Solar, we're here to provide the very best commercial and residential solar power services to clients across Salt Lake City, Utah and Boise, Idaho. Our solar power professionals are here to help with any and all of your needs, including basic recommendations or assistance with winter care for your panels. Here are some basic tips on ensuring your solar panels stay in great shape this winter, plus a few areas to steer clear of here as well. 

Ensuring Panel Alignment to Avoid Heavy Snow Buildup

One area of winter preparation goes all the way back to solar panel installation, and is one that speaks to the importance of quality installers: Making sure that your panels are angled and aligned correctly to avoid heavy snow buildup, which can cause damage or even lead to detachment in some cases. This is just one example of the thoroughness and detail we employ at Intermountain Wind & Solar during panel installation.

For instance, if your panels are not angled correctly, snow and debris will accumulate on the surface. This can obstruct sunlight from reaching the cells or even cause damage to internal components, reducing energy production. In addition, heavy snow loads can put excess weight on your roof and cause safety concerns for those below. In the worst such cases, roof collapses can occur.

Periodic Visual Checks

Like any other element of your home that's visible from the ground, you should be making periodic visual checks of your solar panels throughout the winter. This means stepping outside in between snowstorms and checking to make sure there is no damage, warping or other issues that have affected panel alignment. 

Visual checks are also important after a major storm event - heavy winds or storms can sometimes cause small shifts in panel position, which may need realignment for optimal performance. If you're unsure how to perform these checks, our team at Intermountain Wind & Solar is happy to assist.

Don't Panic When Snow Falls

We know it can be natural to worry about solar panels when snow begins falling, but the truth is that a moderate amount of snow actually helps with panel efficiency. This is because sunlight reflects off the white surface and hits the cells from multiple angles, increasing energy production. In most cases, your panels will automatically clear themselves of light to moderate snow accumulations.

If you're experiencing heavy snowfall or have concerns about how much build-up is happening on your panels, it's always best to call our professionals for assistance rather than attempting to clear the snow yourself. We have the proper equipment and training to handle this task without damaging your panels or compromising safety.

Use a Basic Snow Brush

In cases where you do need to remove snow from your panels, use a soft-bristled snow brush or broom with an extended handle if needed. The handle should be long enough that you can reach up to panels from the ground, avoiding any need to climb on the roof. Be gentle when clearing snow and do not use any sharp objects that could damage the surface of your panels.

Avoid Chemicals

Never attempt to use chemicals or other de-icing products on your solar panels. These can harm the surface of your panels and may even compromise their efficiency. If you have concerns about ice buildup, contact our team for assistance.

Don't Sweat High Winds or Extreme Cold

Solar panel owners also sometimes worry about high winds or extreme cold, but the truth is that these elements do not damage solar panels when they are properly installed. In fact, most modern panels are designed to withstand hurricane-strength winds and temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Again, however, this highlights the importance of working with a trusted installation partner like Intermountain Wind & Solar. Our installers are experienced and knowledgeable, ensuring your panels are installed with the highest level of quality and durability in mind.

Finally, remember that winter is also a great time to take advantage of tax credits and other incentives for solar panel installation or maintenance - you may even be eligible for some deductions or rebates just by keeping your panels in top shape throughout the colder months. 

At Intermountain Wind & Solar, we're happy to provide you with any additional information or assistance you require on winter solar panel maintenance. Contact us today to learn more about this or any of our other services for clients around SLC, Utah and Boise, Idaho.

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