Oregon is known for its unique weather – from gorgeous summer days to the rainy, winter months.
Homeowners interested in saving by going solar, or who have a newly installed solar energy system, might be wondering how the weather throughout the year in Oregon will affect their solar panels.
Don’t worry, taking care of professionally installed solar panels is surprisingly easy. Especially for homeowners with a Purelight Power system that’s been designed for your home and Oregon’s weather in mind.
Below, we’ll cover everything you need to know about caring for solar panels in Oregon.
Maintaining Your Solar Panels in Oregon
With so much to offer across the state, from desert to sea, Oregon sees as wide a range of weather as its geography.
It makes sense that homeowners in Oregon would want to make sure they understand how to take care of their solar panels come rain or shine. Your rooftop solar panels are an investment, so you want to care for them properly.
Continue reading to learn more about taking care of your panels during common weather Oregon sees throughout the year.
Rainy Oregon Weather & Solar Energy
Oregon’s rainy season is pretty infamous, and many people believe that solar isn’t viable due to the grey winter weather we see.
But not only can photovoltaic (PV) solar panels still produce power during overcast and rainy weather, but the rain can benefit your panels. How?
Rain helps to rinse away dirt that accumulates on your panels during the drier, dustier days of Oregon summer.
If a hard rain does leave behind any residue on your panels you don’t like the look of, it’s as simple as powering up your hose with a spray nozzle and rinsing them clean. It’s best to do this during morning or evening, when the sun isn’t hitting the panels as directly and during midday so the water can clean rather than just evaporating off.
It’s important to ensure that the water coming out of the hose is a similar temperature of the weather. You don’t want to use freezing cold water from a hose on panels that are at the peak of midday heat since it can cause the glass of your panels to contract or expand, and lead to cracks.
Snow and Solar Panels
How should homeowners living in Bend and other areas of Oregon that see regular snowfall during the winter month maintain their panels? It’s pretty similar to caring for them in rainy weather.
During a winter storm, any snow accumulated on your panels won’t stick around for long. With a system like one from Purelight Power, your panels will be installed on an incline which helps the snow slide right off.
Heat from the panels as the UV rays penetrate through snow and the panels work helps to speed this process along. No need to climb up on your roof and sweep them clean.
Even if Bend sees heavy snowfall during a winter storm, a solar system from Purelight won’t get damaged. The panels are rated to withstand more than 100 pounds of snow per square foot, and temperatures down to -80 degrees.
In the rare instance the snowpack is so heavy or condensed it won’t just slide right off, no special equipment is required. Once the temperature is warm enough for you to comfortably spend some time outside, simply attach a spray nozzle to your hose and turn it on at a high setting, using the water to help melt the snow.
If for whatever reason you can’t clear your panels of snow, don’t worry. While it might not look like it, the sun’s UV rays can still penetrate through snow and be captured by your panels. Even during a blizzard when the sun is truly blocked, your solar energy system is helping to power your home with net metering.
Trees, Leaves, and Solar
The gorgeous colors we see in Oregon when the leaves change is just another bonus to living in our beautiful state. Less fun is the way those leaves blanket everything around them when they fall. Not to mention the year round habit of dropping needles that spruces, firs, and pines have.
Obviously no one wants a blanket of leaves and needles covering their solar panels and reducing the electricity generated.
The great news is that unless a whole tree branch is sitting on your panels, debris from trees in your yard can easily be cleared off your panels.
Once again all you need is your garden hose. Turn your hose’s spray nozzle to a powerwash setting (or something like it), and use it to clear away any leaves. The water will also help rinse off any pollen during the spring.
Every so often you might have some sort of debris on your panels that won’t rinse away. If you find out a red-tailed hawk has taken up residence on your roof and created a mess on your panels that baked on from the sun, your best bet is calling in a professional.
Any cleaning that might require a solvent or soap-mixture should be done professionally to avoid damage to the surface of your panels that will void your warranty.
How Ash and Smog affect Solar Panels in Oregon
During most of the year, Oregon experiences clean air, courtesy of the many gorgeous forests and protected public lands we have across the state. But as we’re all aware, our summers are hit or miss.
During a summer that’s a bad fire season, homeowners with solar panels might be concerned about how any ash in the air impacts their system.
While you’ll want to make sure your area isn’t under a drought warning with water restrictions, it’s as simple as using your garden hose yet again. Your hose and a spray nozzle set to high are all it takes to wash the ash away.
Thankfully in summer, Oregon sees fewer inversion weather patterns than winter, so you’ll likely also have some wind to help clear the ash away as well.
In the unusual case where your panels are covered by something that won’t rinse off, your best bet is to call your solar installer. They’ll refer you to a professional who can maintenance the panels without causing any damage that might void the warranties that come with every Purelight Power system.
This type of cleaning usually only needs to happen once or twice a year.
Clean Energy is Easy in Oregon
A solar energy system isn’t just an affordable choice for clean energy at home, they’re also easy to maintain.
If you’re done renting power from utility companies that hike up the rates on electricity from dirty energy sources like coal and natural gas, solar is a stellar option. Save even more with a custom and affordable system from Purelight Power.
Find out now if your roof qualifies with our quick, 30 second quiz.