A ‘How to’ guide on Solar Panel Snow Removal
Trying to find ways around that pesky snow that’s jamming up your solar production?
Don’t worry, you are not alone in your search for the best solution to solar panel snow removal. Thousands of solar homeowners from snowy states are trying to find the answer to that same issue. From special rakes to throwing balls at their snow-covered panels, people have tried it all.
How, or if, you clean you solar panels largely depends on your roof. If it’s easy to access from the ground, maybe all you need is a snow rake. If your panels are mounted all over your roof or your roof is very high, you might have to look into other methods.
We provide a handful of methods below, so you can pick what method best suits your needs.
Should I Remove the Snow Myself?
For the most part, gravity and the sun take care of snow removal. After a heavy snow, the sun comes out and starts to warm everything up, including your solar panels. Solar panels are designed to shed snow. The deep black and blue colors help the panels absorb the sunlight’s heat – melting the snow – and the extremely-slippery tempered glass encourages the snow to slide off.
If you live in an area where the sun comes out shortly after a snowstorm – like Colorado for instance – it might be enough to simply let nature run its course. In a few days, your panels will be clean again and producing that clean electricity!
When solar companies estimate your installation’s energy production, they always take weatherinto account, so loss of production from snow has already been accounted for. Removing snow from your panels isn’t going to make a huge difference in your total electricity production each year and by far the easiest and safest way to remove snow is to just wait and let the sun and your panels do their thing.
But if you don’t want to just sit around and let things happen naturally, below are a few options to speed up the process.
Ascending to the roof and sweeping off your snowy panels with a broom doesn’t require any special equipment and is probably the most cost-effective option for homeowners (as long as you have a broom and ladder).
This method obviously poses some serious safety issues. Getting up on your roof is scary enough when it’s dry. When it’s covered in snow, or when placing a ladder on snowy ground, it can be downright dangerous! If you have a single large group of panels on your roof, you’re going to have a very hard time cleaning off the panels in the very middle.
1. The best way to remove snow from solar panels is simply with a snow removal tool.
The easiest, safest option for most homeowners, are solar panel snow rakes. These feature a soft, rubbery rake attached to a long telescoping pole that helps you easily access roof-top panels safely from the ground. The soft head allows you to quickly clear snow off your solar panels without worrying about scratching or damaging the surface.
2. Hire a Professional
If you have a roof that is too high for a solar panel roof rake and too steep or dangerous to climb up yourself, it’s probably time to hire a professional. Many snow removal companies offer roof snow removal, so call around to see what their rates are. In addition, in the last 5 to 10 years, more and more solar panel cleaning companies are popping up across the country. These companies visit your home regularly to clean off snow, dust, bird droppings, and all the other junk that can decrease your production.
Before hiring a professional cleaning service, be sure to do a quick cost analysis to make sure it’s actually in your best financial interest. If you are spending more money cleaning the panels than the additional production is saving you, you need to check out some cheaper options!