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Investing in solar panels for your residence is a wise decision. It provides you with renewable solar energy, for a minimum of 25 to 30 years to come. And, for your solar panels to work flawlessly for that long, you need to ensure proactive home solar maintenance.
While solar panels generally require very little maintenance, they do tend to become dirty over time as a result of exposure to dust and pollution. That’s why, you need to make sure that the dirt, leaves, and other debris do not obstruct the sun’s rays. You will of course need extensive home solar maintenance during heavy snowfall or after a storm.
Do solar panels need a lot of maintenance?
Solar panels have a lifespan of 25-30 years and generally come with warranties to match that time length. Solar batteries too come with warranties, albeit often lesser than panels’ and inverters’. Although solar systems are durable and require minimum regular maintenance, they do need proper caring. Maintaining the health of your home solar panel system will guarantee you the biggest energy savings, and extend the life of the system.
Keep in mind that blockages such as dirt and pollutants interfere with solar energy production. These solar panels convert sunlight into electricity, so the cleaner they are, the more efficient they’ll be in generating clean energy for your home. While the day-to-day loss of power isn’t significant — about 1 to 4.7 percent, long-term dirt buildup can reduce solar electricity production by as much as 20 percent!
How do I maintain my solar system?
Home solar maintenance is quite simple. Fortunately, in most cases, seasonal rain and snowmelt aid in washing away any dirt or animal droppings. But, if you live in a region that receives less precipitation, endures smoke and ash from wildfires, and or has weather that’s dusty and windy, your solar panels will need some TLC.
If you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, you may choose to hire a professional cleaning service. Especially, if you have a rooftop solar system on a multi-story house instead of a ground-mounted system in a one-story house. Solar panels can be hard to access. It’s best to have a qualified person clean them with a high-pressure hose nozzle.
Looking for a licensed professional solar panel cleaner or technician? Let Kukun help you hire the best.
How often should solar panels be serviced?
While there is no regulatory maintenance frequency regarding your solar panel installation (whether photovoltaic or thermal), its maintenance should ideally be done once a year.
The solar panel cleaning frequency depends on where the panels are installed and how rapidly they accumulate dirt, agricultural dust, bird droppings, sand, or pollution. A long period of drought can also cause dirt build-up on the panels.
For cleaning home solar panels, the end of winter seems to be a favorable time. This is the time the sun returns and output levels are on the rise.
DIY home solar maintenance tips
On your own, you can easily rinse your panels with plain water. Just direct your hose spray toward your panels and shower them off — imitating the cleansing action of natural rainfall.
Here are some cleaning tips you can follow for a thorough job:
- Clean the solar panels only when they are cool — early in the morning or in the evening. During the daytime, water may damage your panels, resulting in voiding your solar panel warranty.
- If using a high-pressure water nozzle, don’t get too close to the solar panels or you may damage them.
- Avoid using hard, or mineral-rich, water to rinse off the panels. Use a water-softening hose attachment if you have hard tap water. Or else, use distilled or deionized water.
- You may use dish soap, warm water, and a natural cleaning product such as vinegar, and apply it with a soft sponge or cloth. Mix together a non-abrasive detergent or soap (½ teaspoon), water (2 cups), and vinegar (¼ cup) to make a gentle but highly effective solution for cleaning the panels. But, don’t damage or scratch the glass at all costs!
- Don’t use abrasive brushes and cleaning pads.
Home solar maintenance proactive tips
- Keep an eye out for dust buildup by doing a monthly visual inspection.
- If you live in a part of the United States where wildfires occur often, regularly check your solar panels for ash or soot build-up.
- Keep a track of your electricity bills and solar power for any noticeable drop in efficiency.
Home solar maintenance cost
You should aim for an annual inspection as part of a contract with your solar installer or solar company. The average cost of an annual inspection of solar panels typically is about $150 to $300. The inspection is a good way to find out if any of the components are broken or not working properly. In which case, a replacement or repair work will cost you upward of $750.
The average cost of home solar maintenance ranges from $300 to $700. The average homeowner spends approximately $400 for cleaning and inspecting a basic 2KW solar PV system.
Of course, the total cost of cleaning solar panels depends on where you live, your house height, roof slant, where you install solar panels, and the type of solar setup.
Regular home solar maintenance helps increase the benefits and efficiency of your solar panels. Also, it keeps your energy bills in check. If you notice the panels’ energy output starting to decrease, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and begin work toward home solar cleaning and maintenance.
Looking for solar financing options? Kukun has your back!