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How to clean snow off solar panels: DIY guide

A thin layer of snow on your solar system is not something that you should worry about. When snow heaps get heavy and icy, it does warrant proactive cleaning measures. In this article, we will explore when and how to clean snow off solar panels.

Solar panels and snow removal: To clean or not to clean

When our customers ask for advice about snow cover on their panels, we preach patience. When the panels start working under the sun, they heat up, and the snow melts and slides off on its own. Waiting a day or two is the safest and simplest approach, especially if you live in an area with relatively mild winter temperatures.

In some cases, patience is not enough. Sometimes the cover is too thick. The temperature outside may be low for panels to melt the snow. Sometimes the ice forms on top of a snow heap. If the snow persists for too long, you might have to take matters into your own hands.

Cleaning snow off solar panels in 4 steps

If you find that your solar panels require cleaning, here’s a step-by-step DIY guide to help you safely remove the snow:

Step 1: Ensure safety: Before attempting to clean the snow off your solar panels, ensure your own safety. Use a sturdy ladder if you need to access the panels from the ground. If you need to climb onto the roof, make sure you’re using proper safety equipment and appropriate footwear with good traction.

Step 2: Choose the snow cleaning equipment: Depending on the snow thickness and your comfort level, for removing snow off solar panels you may need:

Snow peeler: A snow peeler is a specialized tool designed for removing snow from solar panels. It consists of a long pole with a blade and a tear-resistant snow slide. With a simple stroke, the blade gently cuts through the snow, which then easily runs down the slide.
Telescopic snow rake: Telescopic snow rakes are specially designed tools that allow you to reach and clear snow from solar panels without having to climb onto your roof. These rakes typically have a plastic, rubber, or foam edge to prevent scratching.
Soft broom or brush: If you don’t have any special equipment, you can use a soft broom or brush with long bristles. Avoid using hard or sharp tools, and be gentle on your panels not to damage their surface.

Never use shovels, metal scrapers, or brushes with hard bristles. These can damage the panel’s glass and reduce the panel’s efficiency.

While it might be tempting to use warm water to melt the snow, don’t do it. Such temperature changes can cause thermal stress and crack the panel’s glass.

Step 3: Gently remove snow from solar panels: Stand at a safe distance from the panels and begin gently removing the snow. Start from the bottom and work your way up, using upward strokes with the tool. Avoid applying excessive force to prevent damaging the panel surface. You don’t need to remove all the snow, but make it thinner.

Step 4: Inspect your panels: After removing the snow, take a look at the panels to ensure they are not damaged. If you find any problems, call in a professional to check your panels.

Years of experience in translation and a love of nature help Julia find the right words to encourage going solar. She joined the team in 2023 and is happy to make her contribution to a greener future.

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