More people are switching to solar and for good reason. With rising energy costs, homeowners are trying everything they can to pinch pennies. Conversely, some people just want to get off of the grid altogether, and solar panels provide a way to do it without having to give up electricity.
Any energy you produce is yours by all rights. Reserved energy can be stored in solar batteries, ensuring that you don’t lose out on unused electricity. Installing a solar system can give you clean, renewable energy for 25 years or longer.
But there’s more to going solar than just slapping a solar panel array on your roof and calling it a day. You need to make sure you are well-versed in solar panel maintenance, as this will ensure long-lasting solar energy. To help you with this, we’re providing you with some valuable information on maintaining solar systems.
With the right care and some education, you can look forward to your solar panel system serving you well for years to come.
Are solar panels low maintenance?
The great thing about solar panels is that they really don’t need a whole lot of maintenance to function properly. That’s not to be confused with no maintenance. It’s important to clean your panels periodically to ensure that they are absorbing optimal sunlight.
Since there are no moving parts in the panels themselves, cleaning them is about all you should need to do. It’s not uncommon for debris to accumulate on your solar panels. This could be anything from dirt to leaves to snow. The cleaner you keep your panels, the more solar energy you can expect.
How often do you need to clean your solar panels?
On average, you should take the time to clean your panels between 2 and 4 times a year. Regular cleaning is usually enough to ensure that your panels are operating properly. Of course, weather conditions can affect the frequency in which you clean your solar panels. If a lot of leaves accumulate on your panels, for example, this will greatly affect your solar energy production.
Heavy snowfall can play a big role in increasing your maintenance rate. It’s important to get into the habit of performing routine checks in your panels to make sure there are no obstructions. As long as you check each panel from time to time, you can stay one step ahead of making sure you are getting the best electricity production.
What should I use to clean my solar panels?
Depending on the weather, you can use anything from a garden hose to a snow rake in your solar panel maintenance. Solar panels are just tempered glass, so it’s actually very easy to get them clean of debris. If your solar panels are installed at an angle, you can usually rely on rain to keep them clean.
If your solar system is flat, you’re going to need to give your panels a bit more attention throughout the seasons. If the weather is warm enough, simply use your hose to spray off any accumulated dirt and debris.
During the winter, snow can build up if there is enough snowfall, regardless of the orientation of your solar panels. It’s a good idea to invest in a snow rake, as this will make your solar maintenance much more manageable. Many snow rakes have 20-foot telescopic arms that provide you with an extra-long reach.
This keeps you off of your roof and ensures your safety as you clean your solar panels. You want to make sure that you invest in a well-made snow rake that will hold up to heavy snow.
It’s important to note that you never want to use hot water on your solar panels. Always use lukewarm water if you’re attempting to melt any accumulated snow. Although each panel is durable glass, cold temperatures and hot water can cause your solar panels to crack.
Can Weather Impact My Solar Power?
Solar panels are incredibly resilient. There are many accounts of solar panels withstanding hurricanes and other natural disasters. But that doesn’t mean they are invincible. Severe hail, lightning, or tornadoes can indeed result in your solar panels suffering damage.
Extreme heat can impact the efficiency of your panels, although it’s unlikely to damage them. With that being said, the difference is negligible and you shouldn’t notice any radical drops in energy production.
If you want to avoid heat interference as much as possible, install your solar panels so that they are more than a couple of inches off of the roof or ground. This ensures better air circulation and will help keep your panels cooler during increased temperatures.
But aside from the weather, you shouldn’t have much to worry about as long you properly maintain your solar panel system. Since you don’t have to worry about moving parts going bad, a little routine maintenance is usually all that’s needed to ensure the safety and longevity of your system.
How can I keep an eye on performance?
To stay apprised of your solar panel energy production, consider installing a monitoring system. These allow you to track your usage, as well as keep you alerted of any changes in performance.
Are ground panels easier to maintain?
Yes. Ground panels are much easier to maintain because you don’t have to go through the trouble of climbing in your roof to access your solar system. Homeowners looking for the least amount of maintenance will often opt for ground panels.
What should I do if a panel malfunctions?
Unless you are really well-versed in the operations of solar panels, you should leave repairs to the professionals. If you’re still under warranty, contact your solar system company so they can send out a professional to assess the problem.