One of the reasons people are encouraged to switch to solar energy is because it’s a long-term investment. But to enjoy the benefits, you need to maintain the solar panels. Fortunately, they don’t need too much upkeep as they only have a few moving parts. Here at Simple Solar, we want our clients to keep enjoying the use of solar throughout their lifespan by maintaining them properly. Let’s discuss how to maintain solar panels.
Why Do I Need to Maintain My Solar Panels?
As we have mentioned, these devices don’t have any moving parts. That means solar panel maintenance is very little but still necessary. These panels are installed outside, meaning they will collect dust and debris, which can affect their efficiency.
To enjoy maximum performance, you must do some light cleaning to ensure nothing obstructs the Sun’s rays. Your panels may need extensive cleaning when it’s snowing heavily, as snow can hinder their performance.
How To Monitor Your Solar Panel’s Health
In this digital age, monitoring your solar panel’s health is easier than ever. While you can perform a visual inspection to check debris and dirt buildup, you can also use an app to monitor their performance. If you notice that the energy output has reduced, something like debris is likely obstructing the panels, preventing them from producing their usual energy output.
These apps also alert you if something is wrong with the panels, so you can then call professionals to replace or repair them.
Tips on Maintaining Solar Panels
Maintaining your solar panels is an easy task you don’t have to do often. Even if dust accumulates, the rain will clear it away. Don’t panic because you live in Arizona, where it only rains periodically. That’s still enough rain to remove debris that has accumulated.
During the dry season, when it doesn’t rain for an extended period, you’ll have to do the cleaning manually. Just grab a bucket of water or a hose and spray the water on the panels. That’s all you need to do. And you can even hire someone to do the job if you prefer. Also, avoid cleaning during hot weather to avoid leaving streaks on the panels.
In winter, snow is likely to accumulate on the panels. In such cases, get a squeegee with a long handle and clear the snow. Another option is using lukewarm water to melt the ice. Never use hot water to remove snow because the panels are made of glass, and the temperature disparity will crack them, making them ineffective.
Also, don’t use an abrasive soap or sponge on the panels, as you could scratch the glass. A soft rag is effective in eliminating dirt. In fact, if you clean the panels often, all you need to do is run clean water with a hose, and you’re good to go.
Any other maintenance issue, like repair, should be left in the hands of a professional. If you notice something is broken or damaged, let our Simple Solar professionals come and check them out and perform the necessary repairs.
Lastly, if a tree has grown and the branches are obstructing the Sun from reaching the panels, trim it. Shade reduces the solar panel’s efficiency, and the leaves will fall on the panels, making your cleaning job much harder.
How Often Should You Maintain Your Solar Panels?
Solar panel cleaning will depend on the weather conditions of where you stay. Here in Arizona, where we don’t receive as much rainfall, dust and debris may accumulate easily. But even with the scarce rain, you’ll probably only need to do the cleaning 3 to 4 times a year.
The best time to clean solar panels is in spring and fall. During fall, leaves and other dropping fall on the panels and cover them. Even birds may create nests between the panels. Cleaning at the end of the season helps you get rid of all this dirt. Spring is also a good time because you get a chance to eliminate debris and snow that has accumulated.
Solar panels have been designed to withstand different kinds of weather, including snow, rain, and wind. In fact, they can even survive hurricane winds. Of course, we don’t mean they can’t be damaged. That’s still possible, but it doesn’t happen easily.
Despite where you live, cleaning the panels twice a year is advisable to reduce the debris and dirt on your panels. The longer you wait it out, the more dirt accumulates, making cleaning difficult and reducing the panel’s efficiency.
Ironically, heat can reduce your panel’s efficiency, yet people mostly worry about cold weather. When temperatures rise beyond 77°F, the panels lose efficiency because they become too hot. However, when installing solar panels, we keep climate temperature in mind. We install panels in areas that allow air circulation to cool the panels, keeping them efficient.
Is There a Maintenance Difference Between Rooftop Panels and Ground Mounted Panels?
There isn’t a big difference between rooftop maintenance and ground-mounted panels. The major difference is that accessing the latter is easier and quicker, making maintenance a breeze. If dust, snow, and debris accumulate, just get a soft-bristled broom to clear it.
Do Solar Panel Warranties Cover Maintenance?
Solar panels come with a warranty. If they start losing their efficiency because of damage, it can frustrate you because you aren’t getting the same output you were getting. Fortunately, we offer a physical maintenance warranty when we install solar panels for you. This is to ensure your panels’ energy output remains high.
If you notice that your panels are damaged, don’t panic. In addition, if their performance also reduces you can call us. Our company will send some professionals to check what the issue is. Since our warranty covers major components, we will help replace or repair the panels.
Increase Solar Efficiency Through Maintenance
At Simple Solar, we can help maintain your solar panels to ensure their output level remains high. We can also educate you on how to clean the panels to prevent damaging them. Contact us today for professional help and guidance.