If you live in an area that gets snow and ice, you will be happy to know that Starlink will automatically melt and clear itself. The phased array antenna uses quite a bit of power to operate, and that power generates heat. One result of this heat buildup is that snow and ice won’t stay on the surface of the dish.
To help users manage the heat and power usage of their dish, Starlink includes snow melt settings in the app. You can adjust these settings to suit your own needs, based on the climate in your area.
In this article, I will explain how to find the snow melt settings. I will also explain what each setting does. Finally, I will answer some common questions about using Starlink in an area with snow and ice.
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Snow melt options
To get to the Starlink snow melt settings, open the Starlink app. In the menu, tap on Settings.
On the Settings page, tap on Starlink to find the options relevant to the dish. Then, tap on Snow Melt.
On the Snow Melt settings page, there are three different options to choose from:
This option disables the ability for Starlink to automatically increase power consumption to melt snow/ice.
This is the default, and recommended mode. The software will automatically adjust power consumption and melt snow/ice when needed.
Expecting a heavy snow storm? Pre-heat mode increases power consumption to heat up the dish surface before snow/ice has arrived.
Which snow melt setting should I choose?
Automatic is the setting that most people should pick. It’s the default setting, so if you haven’t already changed it, you don’t need to do anything. In Automatic mode, Starlink will increase power to melt snow and ice when required.
Pre-Heat is useful in situations where a heavy snowfall is expected. Customers in climates that get multiple feet of snow per year would find this feature useful. Users who use pre-heat mode should remember to change back to Automatic after the storm, to avoid using excessive power.
Off should only be used in special circumstances or in climates where snow/ice isn’t an issue. One example would be for off-grid customers who are worried about maximizing every last watt from their energy system. Off is the most power efficient mode.
What if icicles build up on the dish?
Ice that has melted, and formed icicles on the edge of the dish, are not really a concern. Icicles won’t affect the performance of the Starlink dish, unless the icicles are preventing the dish from moving. You can gently remove the icicles if they start getting large enough to contact the roof.
Snow buildup on and around the dish
If you live in an area with heavy snow, try to keep the area under the dish free of snow. If the dish becomes buried and surrounded with snow, you might see the “Starlink Motors Stuck” message in the app. When you see this message, it means snow is preventing Starlink from repositioning.
Snow buildup on the surface of the dish will result in service interruptions. If heat from the dish isn’t melting snow fast enough, you may have to manually clear it to restore your connection.
Snow melt is a welcome feature for many Starlink customers, as it allows more flexibility for heat and energy management. Those living in areas that get a lot of snow will appreciate the ability to pre-heat the dish, while RV’ers and off-grid users can save energy by leaving the heating function off. For more details on how Starlink handles different weather, check out our post about how well Starlink works in bad weather.