Isaksen Solar Blog

Solar Panels In The Winter, Do They Work?

This is a common question especially in New England. Many question how effective your solar panels can be in the winter. While there is a difference in the production during the summer and winter months the difference is not as significant as you would believe. 

We are here to answer your questions and put an end to myths of solar in the winter. 

Solar in the Winter

  • Will I still produce energy in the winter? 

    • Yes, you will! Your system may have reduced output during the winter months due to shorter days and snow accumulation on top of your panels but overall your system will continue to produce energy and savings throughout the winter. Our team also considers the full year production in each design so your solar installation will produce enough energy to account for any inclement weather or lack of daylight in the winter. 
  • What’s the benefit of having solar in the winter? 

    • Your solar panels can actually operate more efficiently in the colder winter months. Just like other electronic devices your solar panels work better in colder temperatures than hotter temperatures. The best way to think about your solar production is to remember the amount of sun your panels will be exposed to for the entire year rather than on a single day or season. 
  • Can I get solar installed in the winter? 

    • Yes you can! Solar installation demand is usually lowest in the winter months which could lead to cheaper installation prices and a quicker installation time as you won’t be competing with homeowners looking to install solar during the spring and summer. At Isaksen Solar, our crews are trained to safely install in the winter and are able to go on your roof as long as it is not covered in ice and it is not actively snowing or raining. Getting your solar installed in winter will also guarantee that you are producing energy in the peak production seasons. 

Solar and Snow

  • Can my panels produce power when there is snow on them? 

    • No, your solar panels will not produce energy when they are covered in a thick layer of snow. However, your panels will shed the snow very quickly due to the angle they are installed at and their slick glass surface. Also, depending on the type of panel you have installed, your solar system will begin to produce power as the snow begins to melt. An added benefit of snowfall is that the snow on the ground can reflect additional sunlight onto your panels adding to your production. 
  • Do panels emit heat to melt snow?

    • They do not include a heating system and the panels mostly absorb the sun’s light and not much of its heat. However, the snow that is on the panels tends to melt quicker than the rest of the roof as it does absorb enough heat to start the melting process which will cause the snow to slide off of the panels quicker than the rest of your roof.
  • Do I need to clean snow off my panels? 

    • No you do not. Cleaning snow off of your panels may damage them. Also the panels are likely in difficult and dangerous areas to access. Don’t worry though, as solar panel arrays are built to withstand a significant amount of weight. At the worst, snow will last no more than a few days on your panels. It is alot more likely that you will see snow-free solar panels while the rest of the roof is still covered in snow. 

If you are interested in learning more about Isaksen Solar or seeing if your home is a fit for solar give us a call or start your free home solar quote!