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How well do solar panels work in the winter?

Winter Solar Performance

winter solar performance explainedWinter is coming… and yes, I mean it figuratively and literally because winter is right around the corner. So, while you’re busy buying winter clothes and stocking up on rock salt to clear outdoors areas, the cold (and sometimes even snowy) winter weather can be discouraging. Especially if you’re considering solar energy for your home. You might be wondering whether solar panels and the cold are a bad combination. Or will your winter solar performance do well?

Luckily for you, there are many solar installations in cold weather winter climates, and some of the most popular regions in the U.S for solar have snowy winters. So, of course, no solar panels and cold weather are NOT a bad combination. After all, if you look at solar as an investment, then it should be able to generate returns throughout the year as other investments do.

Do solar panels work in the winter?

A common misconception is that solar panels do not work during the winter and generate more energy during the summer because of the heat associated with the season. Makes sense, right? Although the season is definitely not known for its bright, sunny days, your solar panels will certainly work during the winter. The cold temperature will typically improve solar output. While it is true that there is a seasonal energy boost during the summer, that boost only occurs because the days are longer, not hotter. Solar panels are powered by light, not heat and rather than increasing the productivity of a solar panel, the hot temperature can actually decrease the system’s efficiency.

However, there are two aspects of winter weather that may affect how your solar panels perform during this season: snow and clouds.

Snow

how will your winter solar performance look?Most people like the snow. It’s fun to play in and pretty to look at, but many of us know the nuisance snow can be around our homes. So, unless you live in the sunny states (like California, Arizona, and Florida), you will likely have to shovel your driveway and clean off your cars. The good news is solar panel snow problems are usually minimal. Too much ice and snow piled up on your solar panels could diminish the amount of energy they generate. However, it’s easy to clean them off with the right equipment or the sun will simply melt off all ice and snow pretty quickly, so you don’t need to worry about the arduous task of cleaning your solar panels.

Clouds

Solar panels collect light from the sun, a very cloudy day could mean your solar panels will generate less energy than on a sunny day. However, they will not stop working altogether. As long as there is light, your solar panels will convert it into clean energy.

No need to worry about your winter solar performance!

Winter months are actually good for energy production, as long as your panels aren’t covered by snow or clouds. Like most electronics solar panels function more efficiently in cold conditions than in hot. This means that you will produce more power for each precious hour of sunshine during the short days of winter.

Now that you know your solar panels can produce electricity in the winter, consider this: winter is also the best time to shop for solar if you’re a homeowner looking for the best value possible. Installing solar panels on your home is a change that will benefit both your family and your wallet year-round. Don’t let the winter weather discourage you from going solar!