Should You Clean Solar Panels In Winter?

Across Oregon, snow storms can blanket roads, cancel schools, and wreak havoc on everyone’s plans. Snow can also have adverse effects on solar production.

This leads many solar homeowners to ask the question: Should I clean snow off my solar panels?

First and foremost, we strongly advise that homeowners not attempt to clean snow off their solar panels. For safety reasons, we urge utmost caution and advise against taking unnecessary risk in the pursuit of optimal energy production.

To ensure personal safety, we highly recommend hiring professionals to clean your solar panels.

However, if you do decide to clean your solar panels yourself, there are several factors you will want to consider to keep you and others safe.

Factors to Consider:


The main concern when cleaning rooftop solar panels is their height off the ground. Solar panels that are installed on a roof can be tens of feet in the air. These heights are especially dangerous in winter, when icy and slick conditions can lead to falls that cause injury or death.

For this reason, it is strongly advised that homeowners do not clean their solar panels on their own. It is highly recommended to have a professional clean your solar panels. 

However, if you do decide to clean your solar panels, wear fall-protection equipment such as a fall-arrest harness and helmet. Be sure that all fall-protection equipment is in good, working condition and is rated to your body weight and height.

According to OSHA standards, working at any height above 4 feet requires fall-protection equipment.


Ice is an ever-present factor in winter. It can accumulate in all kinds of places, creating slick conditions and potential projectile hazards as ice chunks fall. This is especially true on your roof.

If you decide to clean your solar panels in winter, be mindful of icy conditions that could cause slips and falls and lead to injury. Locate any slick spots or icicles that could cause problems and either remove or avoid them. Even if a spot looks clear of ice, it can still be slick and lead to a fall.

To decrease the risk of injury by ice,  wear shoes or boots with good grip. This will decrease the likelihood of losing grip on the roof or ladder and falling.

Again, it is highly recommended that you wear a fall-arrest harness and helmet to protect yourself and others in the instance of a fall.


When cleaning solar panels, especially roof-mounted solar panels, care must be taken to avoid getting trapped under or injured by falling piles of snow and ice.

Snow and ice that accumulates on a roof or high location has the potential to break free and fall. This mass of snow and ice can weight a significant amount and contain other dangerous debris. The weight of that snow and debris can be enough to injure or kill the person or people beneath it. It can also trap a person, causing hypothermia or suffocation.

To avoid injury or death from falling snow and ice, always give yourself adequate distance between you and the path of falling snow. If possible, wait for large portions of snow or ice to clear before taking steps to clean your solar panels.


Moving around and working in cold, snowy, wet, and icy conditions can take a lot of energy and stamina. This level of exertion can really test a person’s physical fitness and overall health.

In fact, about 100 people die shoveling snow every year in the US, according to numbers from Harvard University.

Therefore, it is important to be mindful of your physical capabilities and any health conditions that might limit your ability to work in winter conditions.

If you are not in the best of health, have a heart condition, high blood pressure, or are overweight, then cleaning your solar panels might not be a good idea.


The short answer is that cleaning your solar panels in winter conditions is not recommended. Even if cleaning your solar panels might increase their power output, the risk to your health and the health of others is too great.

Again, the safety of our customers is top concern. While we do not advise you attempt to clean your solar panels during winter conditions, we would gladly answer any questions or concerns you have about your solar system.

For advice about cleaning your solar panels, or if you would like a professional to clean your solar panels, contact Green Ridge Solar with your questions.

And to learn more about how winter weather affects solar panel power production, read our blog titled “Do Solar Panels Work in Winter.”


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