Starlink is its own special beast in the satellite internet world (for now, at least—Amazon’s Project Kuiper is on its way). Its equipment is pretty state-of-the-art, running on low-earth orbit (LEO) satellites that send and receive signals to your personal Starlink dish. Starlink has tried to anticipate just about everything with its equipment, including a way to keep snow off your satellite dish in winter.
Starlink satellite dishes all come with a built-in heater, so you don’t have to purchase a separate one to keep your satellite internet signal intact. Using the Starlink app, you can navigate to the heater settings and either turn it on manually or set it up to automatically come on when the temperature outside hits a certain degree.
Those functions come in handy, but if you're living off the grid with your internet, you'll want to keep the heater's effect on power supply in mind. Heating always requires more electricity, and Starlink's dish functions are no exception, so make sure you understand what this heating feature will get you into. We've broken down more details on it below.
Starlink dish thermal shutdown
Starlink satellite dishes can operate from -22 degrees to 122 degrees Fahrenheit. If it reaches 122, it goes into thermal shutdown. This shouldn’t affect most people, but those living in deserts will want to install a shade and possibly request a new satellite dish, as Starlink’s new Dishy is designed to use less power, and therefore, generate less heat to begin with.
Starlink snow melting heat function
Starlink’s satellite dish has a heating function that automatically detects snow and ice buildup and heats up to melt the snow. This feature is enough to attract animals (resulting in the famous Starlink cats) but isn’t hot enough to be a danger to them or your electricity bill.
The Starlink dish also has a Pre-Heat feature where you can choose to heat up your satellite dish ahead of an incoming storm.
Starlink’s Dishy has an automatic heating function that allows it to detect and then melt snow and ice. If you live in an area with heavy snowfall, you may still have to go out and manually clear your dish.
Starlink’s satellite dish can only melt snow so fast, so if several feet settle in a short amount of time, you’ll want to brush off the majority of it gently with a brush to retain your Starlink internet connection.
So you've figured out the best way to keep snow off your satellite dish. But how do you maintain the best satellite signal you can through the rest of the year? Do you need to clean it regularly? What about when fall leaves get caught in it?
Well fortunately, you don’t need to stress about cleaning your satellite dish all the time. Satellite dishes are made to endure the outdoors. But if you want greater longevity out of your satellite dish—and to avoid paying for HughesNet or Viasat technicians to come out and replace it (or no response from Starlink's customer service about your dish issues)—we’ve gathered easy tips for cleaning and maintaining your satellite dish.