Solar panels have incredible benefits. When it comes to a more sustainable form of energy, they are the wave of the future. But, unlike electricity from the grid, you have to worry about exposure to the elements.
One of the disruptions to your solar living can be snow. Solar panels take in sunlight to generate energy. When those panels are being blocked, they can’t do their job.
When your panels are on the roof, this complicates things even more. Luckily, there are ways to maneuver around this wintertime challenge. Read on for the best ways to get the snow off of your panels and get the energy flowing again.
Saying So Long to the Snow
Use a Snow Shovel or Rake
If you are looking for a way to remove the snow yourself, you may be interested in a snow shovel. These are sold at home improvement stores or online. Their incredibly long and flexible handles should reach the roof while giving you extra room to stay clear of the area.
The danger with this technique is obviously falling snow. If you could guarantee the snow was feather-light or powdery, this may not be an issue. But you do not actually know what kind of snow you are working with until it comes crashing down, possibly with the icicles dangling from the edge.
The other issue is the damage that a rake or shovel can cause. If it is an abrasive material, you may end up paying down the road for more panels.
Angle Your Panels
You could let gravity do the heavy labor for you. If you have your panels at a higher tilt, the snow will fall off from them much faster and will quickly be in working order.
This could be done by setting the panels up on a tilted rack. This strategy would need to happen at the outset. Otherwise, you would have to redo the process of fixing your panels to the roof twice.
Spray it With a Water Hose
This method depends on the temperature outside. If you are dealing with snow on a day that is above freezing, you can use your garden hose to spray the snow off. This also depends on the height of your roof.
Create a Tarp System for Your Panels
This method involves a little more ingenuity and time than the other methods. If you are a particularly crafty person, you can create a pulley that will allow you to drop a gigantic tarp over your panels before it snows and then pull it back up later.
Depending on when it is snowing and for how long, this might not be worth it in some instances. It may also be costly in addition to being time-consuming. But if it is something you can make on a budget, you could save your panels from the snow.
Hire a Professional
There are many issues when it comes to trying to remove snow yourself. Getting on your roof is inherently dangerous because of the possibility of falling. No matter how much snow, that is not a pretty fall. Add in slippery weather conditions and you are asking for trouble.
Snow is also sometimes very dense and hard. If you decide to get on a ladder and use a long brush or another tool to wipe the snow off, you run the risk of wiping yourself out with heavy snow.
The safest course of action is to let the professionals handle it. Solar maintenance companies have the equipment and expertise to clear your panels themselves. The best part is that you will be inside and warm with your mug of hot chocolate.
Let the Sun Melt the Snow
If you want to save effort and money, you can simply let the sun do its job. Eventually, the snow will melt or fall off from your roof with no intervention. lThe problem some people will have with this is the time it will take.
While your panels are covered with snow, you are losing out on having your panels generate current. This ends up costing you money. But the costs of waiting are negligible when compared to the cost of hiring someone or making advanced contraptions to combat the snow.
Typically snow will melt or slide off from your roof in 1-2 days. If you can simply wait it out, nature will be your ultimate snow hack.
Having snow on your panels can be somewhat stressful, especially if it is your only source of energy. If you are sending energy back to the grid, you also lose out on credits to your bill. But with one of these methods for snow removal, you can clear your panels and let them get back to work.