Do Solar Panels Work During Pittsburgh Winters?

05.18.2021
2 min read

Curious how solar panels hold up during the cold season? The winters in Pittsburgh can be chilly, though the rest of the year balances out to a more temperate climate. So if you’re considering investing in a solar energy system, chances are you’ve wondered how effective those solar panels could be in January when gray skies and snow are common. We’ll address that and talk about how solar panels work in different temperatures below. 

Are Solar Panels Affected By Heat and Cold?

You may be concerned that your solar panels will produce less solar power due to the climate in your area. After all, heat is part of solar power, isn’t it? Think again.

Heat is not involved in generating electricity from solar panels. It’s purely the sunlight that creates solar power. In fact, you might be surprised to learn that cold, sunny days are the most effective conditions for solar panels! Fall, early winter and spring are great times to install your solar panel system because of it.  

It wouldn’t be true to say heat has no impact whatsoever, though. Heat can reduce the efficiency of solar panels. The sun’s energy can excite electrons in the solar cell when in a resting state, so when temperatures soar, those electrons can have less capacity to turn light into energy. 

So your solar panels will be producing energy at their most efficient on cold, sunny days, leaving you to enjoy your heated home and a cup of coffee. 

Will Shorter Winter Days Impact My Solar Energy?

There are fewer hours of daylight in the winter, so it’s easy to think you may not have enough time to produce the energy you need. But due to the increased efficiency of solar panels in the cool air, along with the fact that you have grid electricity as a power source when needed, there’s no need to worry that you won’t have enough energy to power your home. Just be sure to keep snow off the panels — it’s hard to produce solar power when the sun can’t penetrate a solid layer of snowfall! 

POWERHOME SOLAR Knows Pittsburgh Weather

We take seasonality into account when our solar experts are building a custom proposal for your home. Pittsburgh has good conditions for going solar, with long hours of daylight in the summer to offset any efficiency loss from heat and cool weather in the winter to produce plenty of power during the shortened days. Contact your local POWERHOME SOLAR team today to learn more about how solar is a viable option for your year-round energy needs.