Before deciding to go solar, many potential solar customers are concerned about the level of maintenance a solar system could require. Although these concerns are understandable ahead of solar panel installation, they are, thankfully, unfounded. Solar systems are extremely low maintenance and thanks to the lengthy warranties on offer, you’ll never have to worry about upkeep or maintenance when it comes to the panels on your roof. Let’s take a deeper look at solar panel maintenance, and why they’re so easy to take care of. The technology might be advanced, but the maintenance is simple.
As solar systems don’t require any moving parts to perform their function, this immediately limits the amount of work required to keep them functional. The only real form of maintenance required for a solar panel array is regular cleaning. Fortunately, the stationary nature of the panels means that you’ll never have to worry about dirt and debris becoming trapped beneath some moving part. In fact, cleaning the panels is so straightforward that rain often takes care of this job on its own! Many have concerns about bad weather and its impact on solar, but in reality, regular rain showers are beneficial for the maintenance of solar panels.
As for the actual task of cleaning the panels, it’s a matter of preference and warranty. Also, as mentioned above, the rain can sometimes be sufficient to perform this little bit of maintenance for you! In some cases, panel manufacturers may specify that warranty is void in the event of the system owner carrying out any cleaning themselves. Therefore, it’s vitally important that you check the conditions of your warranty before cleaning the panels yourself. In addition to warranty concerns, it may be unsafe or potentially damaging to clean the panels yourself if you’re not completely, 100% confident in what you’re doing. Ultimately, since cleaning is the only real maintenance required, it might be best to have them cleaned professionally.
If you can clean your panels without affecting their warranty, and you’re confident in your ability to do so, it’s a pretty straightforward task. Just get your garden hose out and spray down the panel faces. It’s preferable to do this in the morning or the evening, when the sun is lower in the sky. It’s also very important that you do not spray cold water on hot panels as this has the potential to damage them. Again, it may be advisable to hire a professional to carry out the panel cleaning.
The reason why cleaning is such a vital part of solar panel maintenance is pretty simple - performance. If the solar panels are covered in dirt and debris, then this hinders their ability to soak up the sun’s rays and, therefore, hinders their ability to produce the maximum amount of energy. Clean, clear panels are open to maximum sun exposure and perform at optimal levels to produce energy for your home or business.
Essentially, once you pick a solar panel installer who does the job correctly and professionally, then you’re set with your system for decades. One of the key upsides of going solar is the lifespan of the panels. With warranties generally upwards of twenty years, you’re guaranteed a high level of energy production from your solar panels for years to come. Just keep them clean and they’ll keep generating enough energy to offset your electricity bill for the foreseeable future. Of course, for optimal performance, an inspection of your system every few years (every 4-6 years, according to GreenMatch) could be a good idea. However, if your system is performing fine and you have no reason to believe there’s an issue, this may not even be necessary.
By Shane Croghan