Over 3% of U.S. homes are powered by solar energy. Not only is it more sustainable than fossil fuels, but it’s also much better for the environment.
For one thing, it doesn’t produce any greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide. It also requires very little water compared to traditional electricity sources.
Did you recently install solar power panels on your roof? Wondering what you should do in terms of maintenance?
If so, you’re at the right place. We’ve put together a solar panel maintenance checklist below. Keep reading to learn more!
1. Determine If Your Panels Need Cleaning
Solar panels are made of tempered glass and aside from tracking mounts, they don’t contain any movable parts. This makes them extremely durable.
Having said that, you do want to clean them regularly (dirty panels are far less effective at harnessing energy).
For those who are using a solar panel monitoring system, you can track the amount of energy that the panels are putting out. If they’re producing less and the weather hasn’t changed, it’s probably time for some cleaning.
If you don’t have a monitoring system, you’ll need to keep an eye on the panels to see if there’s dirt or dust.
2. Remove Dirt and Debris From the Panels
Start by getting rid of any large debris. For example, you can use a dry brush to remove leaves and twigs.
From there, you can scrub the solar panels with a soft brush (we recommend using one with an extendable handle) and some soapy water. Don’t scrub too hard, though—that can cause micro-scratches to form on the surface of the panels, which can affect their performance.
And never step on the panels themselves. Consider hiring a professional company (e.g. Smart Solar Cleaning) if there are areas that you can’t reach.
3. Rinse off the Panels With Water
Rinse the panels off once you’ve gotten rid of all the dirt and debris. Avoid using a pressure washer; the force of the water can damage the panels. Use a hose with a sprayer instead.
Once they’re clean, dry the glass with a microfiber cloth or a window wiper—that’ll ensure that they’re residue-free (residue can block sunlight and reduce energy production). Alternatively, you can let them dry in the sun.
Assuming that they’re nice and clean, you should see an uptick in the amount of solar power that they produce.
The Importance of Solar Panel Maintenance
Solar panel maintenance is key if you want them to work properly and as you can see, the cleaning process is pretty straightforward. If anything, you just need to gather the right tools and supplies.
Was this solar panel cleaning guide helpful? Looking for more tips like this? Then be sure to check out the rest of our home improvement section for more articles!