Last Updated: June 11th, 2019 at 3:15 pm
Read Time: 4 Minutes
Solar panels are incredibly reliable. Most solar systems don’t have moving parts, making them extremely low in maintenance. Most solar energy systems come with a warranty of 25 years or longer – and the great news is that POWERHOME Solar’s panels come with a 30-year warranty. Despite this, some preventive maintenance can go a long way toward the longevity and efficiency of your solar panels. Follow these tips for years of renewable energy and low electricity bills.
Solar panels generally require low maintenance
Solar panel systems are designed to endure the elements. They are meant to be outdoors for decades and withstand wind, rain, hail and snow. Even Mother Nature helps with solar panels maintenance by keeping them clean every time it rains.
Because they don’t have moving parts, there’s typically no need to worry about electrical systems malfunctioning due to wear and tear. All you have to worry about is dust, residue, bird droppings and leaves. Other than that, your solar panels generally require low maintenance.
How often & how to clean solar panels
Many solar panel owners want to make sure they’re cleaning their panels accordingly. There’s no standard time frame for how often you should clean your panels. The average solar panel owner will need to clean their panels only once or twice a year.
In terms of how you clean your solar panels, you can either hire a professional or do it yourself. The first choice is often the smartest and safest one. Contact your solar energy provider to see if they offer cleaning services or if they can refer you to a good company.
If you choose to clean your solar panels yourself, make sure you have safe access to your array. All you need is clean water, a towel or sponge, and a bit of elbow grease to remove most dirt buildup. Never use harsh cleaning supplies or abrasive scrubbers on your solar panels. Pressure washers are also a no-no, as they can also damage your panels.
Solar panels maintenance year round
Solar panels have to be at their best throughout the year. Even though they need little maintenance, they’re exposed to different natural elements as seasons change. Keeping up with your panels as the seasons change can help extend their life.
Consider spring as your annual inspection checkpoint. Conduct a yearly inspection to make sure there are no issues. You want to check for:
- Water damage
- Roof drainage issues
- Vegetation growth
- Corrosion on the rack system
- Loose or exposed wiring
- Missing bolts
- Wear on the inverter
- Summer maintenance
Mark summer as your reminder for regular rinses for dust and pollen. While summer is the most productive season for your solar energy system, the panels can become clouded by dust, bird droppings and tree pollen. The occasional rainstorm should be enough to clean off your solar panels. But, for those in arid climates, where rain showers are scarce, a routine cleanup won’t hurt.
A garden hose should be more than enough to help clean your panels. Make sure you’re using demineralized water, as hard water can cause corrosion over time.
If your solar panels are covered in leaves, they won’t produce energy at their top capacity. Hopefully, you don’t have any trees hovering over your roof. But, if you do, a brush or leaf blower should be more than enough to get rid of the leaves.
During winter, your top priority should be to keep snow off your panels. In most cases, snow will melt off over a day or two from the heat of the sun and the heat produced by your home. If after two days, your panels are still covered in snow, a long broom or snow rake should help you clean them off.
Remember – safety first
Most solar energy systems are tied to the electrical grid, making invasive maintenance potentially hazardous. Never attempt to repair any component of the system by yourself. Trained technicians should conduct any solar system repairs. Meanwhile, consider your safety whenever cleaning your solar panels. When in doubt, always reach out to a solar system cleaning company to make sure your panels and you are both safe.