When winter rolls around, many solar panel owners may wonder how snow will impact their solar systems. Installed on your roof, solar panels are entirely exposed to the elements. But, rain, snow, or shine, you need your solar panels to function properly and support your home’s energy system. 

Solar panels in Albuquerque can continue to work throughout the winter, making a solar panel system your home’s year-round energy solution. Let’s discuss how snow may impact your home’s solar panels so that you can prepare for the coming winter months. 

Managing Snow on Solar Panels

Contrary to what you might assume, removing snow from your solar panels is not the way to go. Attempting to do so could cause more harm than good, potentially voiding the warranty for your solar panels. More importantly, trying to access your roof after a snowstorm could cause injury to you. 

Cleaning snow off of your solar panels is only advisable if you have the right equipment – a solar panel snow rake – and can safely access your roof. But, this task shouldn’t be necessary in most situations. Snow melts quickly; often quicker than homeowners expect. The sun is likely to remove snow from your solar panels faster and more safely than the average homeowner. 

Snow Damage to Solar Panels

But, the question remains: Will snow damage your solar panels?

Most people’s main concern with snow on solar panels is weight. Significant snowfall can be heavy when it settles on your roof and solar panels. It may seem like this weight will bear down on your solar panels and cause damage. 

However, your solar panels are designed to withstand the elements – and that includes the weight of snowfall. In fact, most solar panels are manufactured to handle the weight of multiple feet of snow. So, odds are that any snowstorm you experience (especially here in Albuquerque) won’t do any harm to your solar panel system. 

Snow and Solar Energy Production

The next question that most homeowners have regarding snow and solar panels is in regard to energy production. Can solar panels continue to produce energy when they’re covered in a layer of snow?

Simply put, no. Unless it’s only a light dusting of snow, sunlight can’t reach your solar panels through a layer of snow. So, during the time that snow is covering your solar panels, the system won’t be producing energy for your home’s use. 

As aforementioned, the sun will likely melt the snow on your solar panels before it has a major impact on your home’s energy production. But, even if the snow does make a dent in your solar panel’s regular energy production, net metering can save the day. 

What is Net Metering?

Net metering is a system implemented in New Mexico and other states across the country to compensate solar panel owners for unused energy. On sunny days, your solar panel system may produce more energy than your home needs. In this case, net metering would kick in to ensure that you’ll benefit from that extra energy. 

When your solar panel system produces more energy than you use, the electricity meter will go backward, giving you a credit for energy that you use at times when the sun isn’t shining. So, if you have credits from net metering, those credits can be applied when snow is covering your solar panels. Net metering is an important benefit of solar panels that homeowners should consider. 

The Secret To Solar Panel Longevity? Expert Installation.

We’ve now established that snow is unlikely to cause problems for your solar panel system. But, if maintenance isn’t needed to preserve your panels’ longevity in the winter, what can you do to make your solar system last for as long as possible?

In truth, the most important choice that you can make for the longevity of your solar panels is the installation company. By selecting a trusted, high-quality solar panel installer, you can secure the durability of your solar system. After all, proper installation is essential for a long-lasting solar panel system. 

At EcoSave Solar, we’re proud to provide leading solar panel installation services in Albuquerque and beyond. Contact us today to learn more!