Winter vs. Summer: Which is Better for Solar?February 10, 2024
When it comes to solar panels, winter vs. summer is an age-old dilemma. It brings about a lot of questions. When do solar panels work best? When should I get solar panels installed? For those looking to go solar and be energy-efficient, it’s important to know what to expect during these dramatically different seasons and which is better for solar.
Winter vs. Summer: Installation
Regardless of the time of year, the process for installing your solar panels doesn’t take long. Generally, after the engineering site visit, permitting, and documentation, the actual installation process only takes one or two days. That’s the fastest home remodel project you’ll ever see!
While they can occur any time of the year, summer is generally the best time of year to get solar panels installed. This is because you have more consistent weather. Your installation won’t be put off over and over due to snow or an icy roof. The workers also have more hours of sunlight in the day to work with, so they can be more productive in a shorter period of time. However, installers might still need to watch the weather, as extreme heat waves and summer thunderstorms could force them to reschedule.
Summer might be best, but if you don’t want to wait until then, consider getting in touch with solar providers in the winter to get the other steps taken care of. This way you can get the paperwork out of the way during a time when the weather isn’t perfect. You can also plan to get the solar panels installed during winter if it’s been particularly mild. As winter is usually less busy than summer in terms of solar panel installation, you’ll have more options in terms of scheduling.
Winter vs. Summer: Productivity
In Massachusetts, the optimal months for solar productivity are April through September, when the most sunny days occur. Summer, in particular, is ideal for solar because you get an average of 13 hours a day of sunlight. Meanwhile, you get about seven hours of sunlight in winter as the days are shorter. In fact, solar panels are known to over-produce electricity, which is extremely useful if you have a solar battery to store the energy, or are selling it back to the grid.
This isn’t to say that your solar panels won’t power your house in the winter. In fact, solar panels perform at a higher level under cooler temperatures than hot. While solar panels work best in direct sunlight, they still function in indirect sunlight. Highly efficient solar panels like ours draw up to 30% more power from the sun than conventional solar panels. This makes them great for the winter months, as you’ll be getting the most energy even in less-than-ideal conditions.
Solar panels are great for your home year-round. While summer might objectively be the best time for productivity and installation, don’t discredit winter. You might find yourself getting more out of solar in the winter months than you expected.