During the winter, solar panels will produce less energy for your Albuquerque home. This is for a variety of reasons, including the shorter days, the sun’s lower angle in the sky, and the presence of snow. That said, solar panels can perform well in cold temperatures, as the panels are less likely to hit their peak temperature and may therefore produce solar energy more efficiently. So, maintaining solar panels to ensure that they perform optimally in the winter is important for solar panel owners. 

While lower output is inevitable in the winter, you can get the most out of your panels in the winter by taking proper maintenance measures. Below, you’ll find out top solar panel maintenance tips to implement during the winter months. 

Clean Off Your Solar Panels

While, as we mentioned above, solar panels can perform well in colder temperatures, snow accumulation is undoubtedly an obstacle. Heavy snowfall can take time to melt off of the surface of your solar panels. When snow is sitting on top of the panels, they’ll be inhibited from producing energy from the sun. 

To keep snowfall from obstructing your solar panels, clear snow and ice off of the surface of your panels whenever possible. This is usually only necessary after a large snowstorm. After smaller snowstorms, the sun will likely melt the snow naturally in very little time. Solar panels have a dark surface that will accelerate the melting process in direct sunlight. 

Note that you should only try to clear snow and ice off of your solar panels if it’s safe to do so. If your solar panels aren’t safely accessible for cleaning, contact your Albuquerque solar experts for help. It’s not worth it to injure yourself trying to clean snow off of your solar panels. 

To clean snow off of your solar panels, you can take a few different approaches:

  • Use a hose to spray the snow and ice off of the panels. If you opt for this method, be mindful of the temperature of the water. It should be lukewarm, as cold water may freeze the snow further, and hot water could create too drastic of a temperature change. 
  • If you can access your roof safely, you can use a non-abrasive brush or broom to sweep the snow off of your panels. 

Save Energy At Home

Conserving energy at home is one way to maintain your solar panel system during the winter. By using less energy, you can ensure that the energy produced by your solar panels will be enough to power your Albuquerque home. 

Here are some energy conservation tips to implement at home:

  • Check on your home’s insulation and ventilation. Both are crucial to the energy efficiency of your home. 
  • Turn off the lights when you leave a room or leave the house. 
  • Switch to LED light bulbs, which are far more efficient and will use less energy over time. 
  • Keep the windows and doors closed while your heater is running.
  • Unplug electronics when you aren’t using them. 
  • Consider thermal curtains to prevent heat loss through the windows. 

Ensuring that your household isn’t wasting energy is even more important during the winter months, when your solar panels won’t be producing as much energy.  

Take Care of The Batteries

Your solar panels’ deep cycle batteries need to be maintained for optimal performance. To maintain the batteries, first ensure that they’re installed inside. This is important for temperature regulation, as the batteries’ performance can suffer in extreme temperatures. If the deep cycle batteries are installed outside, be sure that they’re housed in an insulated compartment. If the temperature outside drops below zero, lead-acid batteries may freeze. 

Additionally, check the battery voltage of the panels’ deep cycle batteries. It’s important to charge the batteries if they drop under 12 Volts DC. 

As a final battery tip, if you own an off-grid solar panel system, keep an ample store of antifreeze distilled water. You may need it for the batteries and check on the water level to know when it’s time to refill. 

We at EcoSave Solar are here to help with all of your solar panel needs. Contact us today for more information about solar panels in Albuquerque.

Solar panels are a significant investment in your home’s energy setup. So, when you have solar panels installed, you’ll likely want to make sure that they’ll last for as long as possible. After all, the longer that you have your solar panels, the closer that you’ll get to attaining complete energy independence. 

Here, we’ll discuss what solar panel owners in Albuquerque can do to make their solar panels last for as long as possible. By properly taking care of your solar panel system, your household can enjoy sustainable energy from the sun for many years to come!

The Average Lifespan of Solar Panels 

The lifespan of solar panels is generally regarded by industry professionals to be 25 to 30 years. However, this timeframe doesn’t represent the period before your solar panels will completely stop working. In fact, solar panels can usually keep generating solar energy for long after the 30-year mark. After this period, your panels will have degraded to a point that professionals regard worthy of replacement. This means that your panels will operate at a significantly lower level of efficiency compared to when they were first installed. 

Degradation in regard to solar panels is the gradual lessening of efficiency in producing energy. Degradation rates are shown as annual percentages. The degradation rate of your solar panel will mainly depend on the manufacturer. Most panels range from 0.3% to 0.8% degradation per year.

Preserving The Lifespan of Your Solar Panels

Solar panels are built to be durable and long-lasting with little maintenance. However, there are a few measures that you can take to secure the maximum lifespan for your solar panels. 

Maintain Nearby Trees

Trees that are around your property and close to your roof pose the largest risk to your solar panels’ longevity. Fallen debris, especially large debris like tree branches, can damage your solar panels before they reach their full lifespan. Especially in a storm, overhanging branches may break and puncture your solar panels. 

So, simply maintaining the trees on your Albuquerque property can be a big help in prolonging the lifespan of your solar panels. Regularly trim overhanging branches and keep an eye on any old trees on your property. If a tree is past its prime and poses a risk of falling, it’s best to have it professionally removed. 

Clean Your Solar Panels Regularly

Debris, pollen, and other outdoor materials can accumulate on your solar panels throughout the year. Cleaning this debris off of your solar panels can improve their efficiency and ultimately keep them performing well for longer. Solar panels that aren’t regularly cleaned won’t operate as efficiently as those that are kept clean, so it will benefit your household to keep up with this maintenance task. We recommend cleaning your solar panels in the spring, and always consult your local solar panel experts for help with the cleaning process. The manufacturer of your solar panels may recommend specific cleaning methods. 

Address Any Damage ASAP

While damage to solar panels is unlikely, it’s important to have any damage that does occur repaired ASAP. Since your solar panels are located on your roof, they’re particularly susceptible to the elements. Any damage – whether it be a scratch from an overhanging branch or an instance of water damage – will get worse over time in various weather conditions. What may start out as a minor issue could require major repairs when left unaddressed. 

So, if damage in any form affects your solar panels, have your Albuquerque solar experts check it out ASAP. Trust us – you’ll be glad that you did. 

Select a Trusted Installer

One of the most effective ways to ensure a long lifespan for your solar panels is to select your installer wisely. By making a smart choice of Albuquerque solar company right from the start, you can make sure that your solar panel is installed properly, with efficiency in mind. Solar panels are complex pieces of technology that require expertise to install. So, you need a trusted team by your side to get the job done right. 

To learn more about solar panel installation for your Albuquerque home, contact us today!

If you’re considering a home solar panel system, you may be wondering how it will function in the winter. Solar panels need sunlight to function, after all, and sunlight can be hard to come by in winter. Also, snow presents a separate issue: if snowfall builds up on your solar panels, will sunlight reach them?

In this article, we’ll explain how solar panels work in the snow to power your home. You may be surprised to learn that the winter months won’t derail your home’s solar panel system. 

Year-Round Solar Panel Performance

While the weather changes with the seasons, your home’s basic need for energy remains. In the summer, solar panel owners don’t have to worry about their panels receiving enough sunlight, as the sun is usually shining during the warm weather months. However, in winter, overcast days and periodic snowstorms will lower the amount of sunlight that your solar panels receive. 

That said, the winter months aren’t a loss for solar panel systems. Days that are both cold and sunny are excellent for solar panels, as they operate with greater efficiency in lower temperatures. So, when the sun is shining but the air is cold, you’ll get more energy per hour out of your solar panels than you would on a sunny summer day. 

Solar Panels in Cold Climates

Solar panels aren’t just for regions with notoriously warm climates! Northern states including New York and Massachusetts are among the most popular for solar panel installation. While this may sound counterintuitive, there’s a great reason why homeowners in colder climates are opting for solar panels: electricity costs. In these areas, homeowners use more electricity throughout the year due to a higher demand for heating. So, by installing solar panels, homeowners in these areas can reap savings on their high utility bills. It’s a smart, practical choice that will also largely lower homeowners’ impact on the environment. 

Snow and Solar Panels

Many homeowners in Albuquerque and beyond worry that snowstorms will compromise their solar panel systems. The two main concerns regarding snow and solar panels are coverage and weight. Let’s discuss these issues below. 

Snow Coverage

After a snowstorm, a layer of snow may be left covering your home’s exterior surfaces. With solar panels installed on your roof, that means that your panels will be covered in a layer of snow. To function, solar panels must be able to receive sunlight. With snow covering the panels, your solar system won’t be able to produce power. 

That said, snow melts quickly. For mild to moderate snowstorms, the snow coverage will likely melt off of your panels before you even get a chance to address it. In the case of heavy snowfall, snow coverage can be removed from solar panels relatively easily. You can use lukewarm water and a squeegee to safely remove the snow from your panels. Just make sure to never use hot water for solar panel snow removal. The big difference in temperature could harm your solar panels’ tempered glass. 

Weight From Snowfall

The other concern that many homeowners have regarding snow and their solar panels is weight. Snow buildup can seem heavy, and if it’s resting on your solar panels, you may wonder if damage is being done. But, you can relax – solar panels won’t crack under the weight of snow. The panels are made to be strong and withstand outdoor conditions. In fact, all solar panels are put through pressure tests before being approved for use, ensuring that they can endure a reasonable amount of weight. Snowfall is very unlikely to surpass solar panels’ pressure limits. 

Snow: Not Worth The Worry For Solar Panel Owners 

In reality, snow is unlikely to significantly impact your solar panels. In most cases, the snow will simply melt off of the panels in the day or hours after the snowstorm, leaving your solar panels in perfect condition to continue gathering energy from the sun. Except in extreme cases, homeowners can simply go about their days as usual when snow falls on their solar panels. Solar panels are durable and built to withstand Mother Nature’s full range of weather conditions – snow is very unlikely to compromise the panels in any way. 

A solar panel system will benefit you, your family, and the environment for many years to come. But, after having solar panels installed, you may be wondering: How do I maintain my home’s solar panels?

In truth, the maintenance requirements for solar panels are limited. With proper installation, your solar panel system shouldn’t require much maintenance, making it a stress-free addition to your Albuquerque home. However, there are maintenance tips that you can follow to keep your solar panels in peak condition. We’ll cover these tips below, along with what you can expect from your new solar panel system. 

Solar Panel Maintenance Tips

Tip #1: Periodically Remove Debris. 

The key maintenance task that solar panel owners need to keep up with is debris removal. Debris like leaves and dirt can build up on your solar panels, compromising your solar system’s ability to function. This issue can be easily amended by simply using a garden hose or leaf blower to remove debris from the surface of your panels. By cleaning the surface of your solar panels just two to four times per year, you can make sure that your solar system functions properly. 

In more humid climates, rainstorms naturally wash solar panels, which simplifies solar systems’ maintenance. But, here in Albuquerque, the climate is dry virtually all year round. This makes it more likely that debris will build up on your solar panels. So, as a solar panel owner in Albuquerque, make sure to not neglect debris removal for your solar panels. 

Tip #2: Be Mindful of Snow. 

While a rainstorm can benefit your solar panel maintenance efforts by washing away debris, a snowstorm may present complications. After a heavy snowstorm, any accumulated snow should be cleared from the surface of your solar panels. This is because the snow will inhibit sunlight from reaching your panels, thus hindering your home’s energy system. Note that the weight of the snow won’t harm your solar panels, except for in extreme cases that we’re unlikely to see here in Albuquerque. 

You can gently remove snow from your solar panels using lukewarm water and a squeegee. But, be sure to never use hot water for solar panel snow removal. The intense difference in temperature between the water and the solar panels could cause the panels to crack. 

Note that the snow will likely melt off of your solar panels quite quickly. In most cases, your best bet will be to simply leave the snow alone. After a mere dusting of snow, sunlight will still be able to reach your solar panels for conversion into energy that your home can use. 

Tip #3: Hire a Professional For Repairs. 

Should anything happen to your solar panels, it’s best to hold off on DIY repairs. Solar panels are advanced (and expensive) pieces of technology that are safer in the hands of a professional. By investing in expert repairs for damaged solar panels, you can prevent future issues that would lead to even costlier repairs. While it may seem like you’ll save money now by trying to repair your panels yourself, you’ll actually save money by having a professional fully fix the issue. 

Tip #4: Your Solar Panels Are Stronger Than You May Think.

With solar panels installed on your roof, you may be concerned over their durability in storms and other extreme weather conditions. But, you can relax – solar panels are built to be durable and endure the whims of Mother Nature. Even in a hailstorm, your solar panel system will have the strength to stay in good, working condition.  

Tip #5: Avoid Maintenance With a Top-Quality Solar Company. 

The best way to minimize maintenance for your solar panel system is to choose a reputable, experienced solar panel installer. With the right solar company to complete your installation, you can secure the quality and longevity of your solar panel system. A well-designed and properly installed solar panel system is unlikely to need much maintenance. This means that you can simply sit back and enjoy as your home produces renewable energy. 

EcoSave Solar is a leading provider of solar panel services in Albuquerque. With our seasoned team, your solar panel system will be built to provide energy independence for decades. Contact us today to get started!