The Solar Expert’s Guide to Winter PrepNovember 3, 2020
And just like that, the cold weather is back, and winter is right around the corner. This has sure been a whirlwind of a year, and it seems like we are all ready to hunker down for the long winter ahead.
But, before you do that. There are some solar-powered tips that you may want to learn before the chilly season strikes. In today’s blog, we’ll cover various subjects such as solar panel myths during the winter, how to save on your utility bills this winter, and why you might want to consider investing in solar batteries and energy storage for those especially treacherous winter storms.
Myths About Solar Panels in the Winter
Thinking about a fall solar panel installation? Or heading into the snowy months with solar panels already on your roof? You may be wondering how solar panels hold up in the winter. While yes, access to sunlight is limited in the winter due to the days’ shortness, solar panels still provide all the incredible financial and environmental benefits.
MYTH: Solar Panels Need Heat to Work
A commonly held belief is that solar panels require heat to capture energy. This is false. Solar panels only need photons, or sunlight to capture, converting them into sustainable electricity. This also includes any cloudy or overcast weather. Remember, if you can see daylight, your solar panels are indeed converting it into energy.
MYTH: Snow Covers/Damages Your Panels
While for some solar panel brands, this may be true, it certainly isn’t with SunPower by BlueSel. Our industry-leading installation technicians understand the area that we live in and the fact that it frequently sees quite a bit of snow, and install the panels at an angle at which most snow will either easily slide off or melt. If heavy snowfall does begin to build-up on your roof, however unlikely, feel free to give us a call, and we’ll help you clear it up. It would be best if you always trusted a professional when performing any maintenance to your solar panels.
MYTH: Rapid Temperature Changes Break Solar Panels
Because of the Maxeon solar cells that make up most of our solar panels, unpredictable temperature worries are a thing of the past. Due to their strong and flexible connectors, SunPower solar cells are able to withstand sudden temperatures spikes and drops, expanding and contracting as needed.
Save on Your Utility Bills This Winter
In the past, we’ve covered ways to save on utility and electricity bills all year round. This month, let’s take a specific look at how to save on utility bills during the winter when energy bills tend to spike the most.
Install a Smart Thermostat
While you should undoubtedly keep yourself and your family warm over the winter, overusing your heating can lead to sharp spikes in your heating bill. Installing a smart thermostat can help you monitor and manage your home temperature with meticulous detail, using only the energy needed to keep you warm throughout the cold winter months. Smart thermostats can also be controlled from smartphones and computers, allowing you to turn temperatures down while the house is empty, preventing needless or lost heat.
Let the Sunshine In
Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean that the sun has stopped shining! Open the shades up in the morning and allow natural sunlight to illuminate your home. You’d be surprised how much utilizing natural sunlight can save on your electricity bill at the end of each month instead of using electricity.
Prepare Proper Insulation
It’s a good idea to inspect your home insulation before temperatures drop. Poorly installed or worn out insulation can cause you to waste enormous amounts of heating energy, especially in the middle of winter. As we know, heat naturally rises, so make sure that your attic is adequately insulated, keeping the heat inside your home where it’s needed, and reducing your heating bill.
While we’ve recommended strongly using sunlight to light your home, the days are shorter, and darkness falls quickly upon all of New England once the afternoon hits during the winter months. We strongly recommend that you regularly check and change your lightbulbs to highly efficient LED bulbs. Along with making sure that you shut lights off whenever you leave a room, installing efficient light bulbs is one of the best ways to save on your winter utility bill.
Invest in Solar Batteries & Energy Storage
In October 2019, a fierce wind storm struck Massachusetts, leaving over 200,000 homes across the state without power, some for days. Unfortunately, power outages happen regularly in New England due to our unpredictable weather, especially in the winter. The solar power industry has come up with a solution to the power outage problem, solar batteries, and energy storage.
Similar to generators solar batteries enable you to keep the light and heat on while the power is out. With solar storage, you’ll essentially be able to bank energy for your home, having easy access to that energy when you and your family need it most. Best of all, solar batteries are clean, efficient, and quiet, unlike noisy and wasteful generators. We’re very excited about the future of solar storage, and currently, SunPower by BlueSel is working towards providing a functional and practical home solar + storage solution, so stayed tuned!