How Should I Care For My Solar Panels In Winter? | BCS Cleaning Specialists

During the winter, the sun doesn’t make it as high in the sky during the day (it’s like even the sun is trying to conserve energy!); as a result, your solar panels will give less output in winter because there is less energy available for them to absorb. Snow accumulation can also reduce the surface area available to soak up the sun and thus hamper your solar panels’ ability to absorb the sun’s energy. While it might be tempting to just hide under the covers during the winter months, continuing to care for your solar panels is a necessity if you want them to keep working for you during even the frostiest  days. 

But have no fear – BCS Cleaning Utah are here! Our solar panel experts have created a few simple steps for you to follow in caring for your solar panels during the chillier months. While some of these might seem blindingly obvious, sometimes these are the ones that get most easily pushed to the side. So here are our top tips for keeping your solar panels shipshape during winter:

 

1 Conserve Energy

While conserving energy is definitely a hot topic (hot, ha!) at the moment, it’s not exciting to do (who wants to traipse around the house turning off light switches?). But with if you can bear the extra effort, there are a few, small things you can do to keep your solar panels producing energy at their very best:

  • Turn off lights when you don’t need them (we’ll just get that one out of the way at the beginning!).
  • Make sure your house is properly insulated. Poor insulation results in ineffective heat-retention, which in turn will make your solar panels have to work harder.
  • Heat has a habit of escaping wherever it can sneak out. For example, make sure to close the damper when your fireplace is not in use, thermal curtains can make a big difference to heat retention. And make sure to check your air ducts early in the season for any breaks or leaks.
  • Use energy efficient lightbulbs. A 15-watt energy efficient CFL can give you the same light output as a 60-watt standard bulb. Plus it will save you 75% in energy consumption. Woohoo!

 

2 Care For Solar-Panel Batteries

Since your solar panels’ deep cycle batteries are the source of all your power (storage and output), it makes sense to maintain them, especially during winter’s harsher months. Here are a few things you can do:

  • If batteries are not installed indoors, make sure that the battery compartment is properly insulated, as lead-acid batteries can freeze at subzero temperatures.
  • For off-grid solar systems, make sure you have enough anti-freeze distilled-water on-hand for the batteries, as well as keeping a close eye on the water levels.
  • Check your battery voltage regularly. If it falls below 12 Volts DC, you will need to charge your batteries.

 

3 Adjust the angle of your panels

This was one of those ‘duh!’ moments for us – it seems so logical when you think about it. One reason why your panels don’t receive enough sunlight during the winter can be simply that the sun is at a lower angle throughout most of the day. To easily adjust for this, use an adjustable rack to modify your panels at a 15-degree angle.

 

4 Scrape off excess snow

It stands to reason that if your solar panels are covered in snow, they’re not going to absorb much (if any) light. Snow often takes care of its own removal once the weather warms up a day or two after the storm, but that might not be soon enough for you, and if cold temperatures linger, the snow and ice encrusting your solar panels won’t be going anywhere fast. 

If your panels are high up on your rooftop, it’s not worth the risk of trying to clean them yourself. The easiest and safest solution is to call in the professionals at BCS to clean your panels for you. We have the specialist equipment and training to make sure your panels get cleaned right and restored to their peak operating capacity.

Give our specialists a call today at 801 561 1730. We’ll set your solar panels to rights in a jiffy!

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