Should Solar Panels be Heated to Clear Snow?

Snow and ice accumulation can significantly reduce solar panel efficiency and power output in the winter. If heavy snowfall is common in your area, plan ahead to handle snow and ice on your solar panels.

Should Solar Panels be Heated to Clear Snow?

Should You Install a Heating System?

One option is to install heated electrical coils on your solar panels. You can configure the system to operate either manually or automatically, melting snow and ice to restore maximum energy output.

The downside is that operating the electrical coils can be costly, offsetting the energy gains from snow removal on solar panels. Weigh these costs against the potential gain in energy output to help you decide if heating your solar panels to clear snow is worth it.

Should You Let the Snow Melt Naturally?

Except for cases of heavy, record-setting snowfall, it’s often best to let ice and snow melt on their own. If solar panels are angled, snow should naturally slide off in a day or two, no intervention needed.

5 Alternative Ways to Clear Snow from Solar Panels

If you’re set on removing the snow and ice from your solar panels but don’t want the operating costs of heated electrical coils, consider these six alternative methods:

  1. Clear snow with a roof rake: The simplest, safest, and most effective option is to use a roof rake. This tool helps remove snow from roof solar panels while standing on the ground.
  2. Use a push broom: If you don’t have access to a roof rake, try this method. You’ll probably need to climb a ladder to reach your solar panels with a push broom. Choosing a soft-bristled version is important to avoid scratching the glass.
  3. Blow snow away with a leaf blower: Exercise caution when standing on a ladder with a leaf blower, and use the device on a low setting to avoid damaging the panels.
  4. Spray the snow with a hose: If the snow isn’t too thick, you can spray it with a garden hose. Choose a warm day to do this so the water doesn’t freeze before evaporating.
  5. Install a pulley-operated tarp: With this setup, you can pull the tarp over your panels when it starts snowing and wind up the tarp once the storm passes, taking the snow with it.

Install Solar Panels in NJ, NY & CT

We may get our fair share of snow here in New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut, but the New England area has a great climate for solar power. Infinity Energy is the region’s leading residential solar installer, with over 7,500 happy customers who are glad they switched to solar. Rest assured that we’ll install your system to maximize performance and durability in snowy winter weather. For more information or to request a solar installation quote, please contact us today!