With the US surpassing 2 million solar installations, you can rest assured that the use of a solar energy system will become the norm as time goes by.
However, as with any sort of system, it will require maintenance to perform well. You may not realize it, but good maintenance of your solar panels is essential to maximizing their value and ensuring their longevity.
But, if you’re completely unaware of what solar panel maintenance entails, no worries. Keep on reading and you’ll find out all you need to know about keeping your solar panels in top shape: how frequently they require maintenance, how much it costs, and how to do it.
If you’re looking to save money and lower the carbon impact of your house, installing solar panels is a great option. After all, just the property tax exemption can be a true cost-saver.
The good news is that solar panels may last between 25 and 30 years, even if they aren’t inexpensive. You’ll have ample time to return your investment with this.
Solar panels may be left to their own devices since they need so little maintenance. Sunlight may shine through the windows with only a simple cleaning of leaves, dirt, and other debris.
Only when there is a lot of snow on the ground does maintenance become more frequent. It’s because even a few inches may affect the effectiveness of your solar panels.
It’s a good thing that solar panels don’t need a lot of upkeep to maintain providing solar energy for your house. In order to keep your panels clean, the most typical kind of maintenance is vacuuming.
During storms or long periods without rain, dirt and debris may accumulate on your solar panels. Keeping your solar panels clean on a regular basis will guarantee that they get the most amount of sunshine possible.
You may also want to do an annual examination of your solar panels. There are times when you’ll have a solar panel check performed by an expert. It’s usually someone from the company that installed your solar panels, to ensure that everything is operating as expected.
If you realize that your solar panels aren’t generating as much electricity as they should, you can schedule additional maintenance visits as required.
Solar panels should withstand the test of time. Installations of high-quality solar panels enable PV systems to survive a wide range of weather conditions such as rain, snow, and hail.
The Department of Energy has shown that solar panels are resistant to hail. During Hurricane Florence in 2018, just a few solar systems in North Carolina suffered significant damage.
They aren’t invincible, however. Therefore, hail can damage them. The same applies to hurricanes, tornadoes, or even lightning in rare instances.
However, you should be able to get any broken panels fixed or replaced if you have a decent warranty.
Ironically, heat is the most typical sort of weather that impacts solar panels. When the temperature rises over 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius), solar panels lose around one percent of their effectiveness.
It’s possible to sustain energy output by raising them a few inches above the ground or roof, although this isn’t always necessary.
Temperature-related performance issues for solar panels aren’t anything to worry about. The local climate will be taken into account by your solar installer while installing panels.
It’s important to note that solar panel upkeep is rather low-key. As a general rule, there are three distinct timetables to keep track of:
Hire a professional to check your solar panels once a year to make sure they’re functioning correctly.
Solar panels should be cleaned twice a year at the very least. Depending on how much rain your location gets and how much dirt your solar panels accumulate, you may only need to clean them once a year.
Plan for extra cleanings if you reside in a location where your solar panels aren’t exposed to a lot of rain or debris.
If you find a problem with your solar panels outside of your yearly inspection, you may make an appointment for extra maintenance.
Aside from routine inspections and cleaning, your solar panel system shouldn’t need much care. It’s important to be aware of any warning signs that your panels may need repair sooner than expected.
Reduced energy production is the most reliable sign that your solar panels need to be serviced. This is a good clue that you need to have your solar panels serviced. Basically, if you observe a sudden decrease in energy production and an increase in your power bill.
You can check the output of your solar panels using an app if they begin to lose power. If your panels aren’t producing as much power, as usual, it might be because they’re blocked by debris or some other obstruction.
Incorporating a solar panel monitoring system into your setup allows you to keep tabs on how much electricity your panels generate each day and over the course of time.
This enables you to understand precisely how different external elements impact your panels’ performance and how well they’re keeping their efficiency over their life spans. In the event that a panel fails or malfunctions, the monitoring system will notify you and allow you to fix or replace it.
Solar panel cleaning and inspection are typically done by a professional every year. When it comes to solar panels, hiring an expert is the safest bet. However, even with the help of an experienced expert, the cost of upkeep is quite low.
Annual maintenance expenditures for solar panels range from $150 to $300, according to Home Advisor.
It’s about $150 for an annual inspection and another $150 for two cleanings. If your solar panel system is damaged, or if you have to clean your panels more often because dirt and debris accumulate more rapidly, your maintenance expenses may be somewhat higher.
You may be able to save even more money on solar panel maintenance depending on your installation. In certain cases, the cost of your solar panels already includes a set number of maintenance visits. Others may provide maintenance and cleaning service programs.
To maintain ground-mounted solar panels, the only major difference is that they are more accessible and so simpler to keep clean.
You can use a soft-bristled broom, this way you may easily sweep away any snow or other material that has accumulated on the ground.
To ensure your panels endure as long as possible, solar panel manufacturers provide warranties on their products.
The typical warranty period is 10 to 20 years. However, some companies provide warranties that run up to 25 years. In the first place, these guarantees ensure that the performance of your solar panels will not fall below a certain threshold.
Storms and other events that are out of your control might potentially cause damage to your solar panels, which are covered by these policies.
You should be aware that your solar panel warranty may require the correct maintenance of your panels in order to qualify for coverage. This means that your warranty may not cover damage caused by clogged solar panels due to a lack of frequent cleaning.
A professional should be hired if your panels require repair or replacement.
A call to the firm that installed your solar panels is in order if you notice a decline in efficiency and your panels are still covered by a performance or output guarantee. If the issue cannot be fixed, they will send a repairman or replace the panels.
If your panels have been damaged physically, they may be covered under a separate guarantee for your equipment. Your solar installer can help you identify a company that can replace your old panels.
If you aren’t familiar with residential solar systems or the different types of solar panels, don’t try to install or repair solar panels yourself.
In general, it’s not too difficult to take care of your solar panels. Keeping your solar panels clear of dust, dirt, or snow helps guarantee that they work properly. Ensure that the panels you purchase come with a decent guarantee so that if they do break, they can be replaced.
By doing this, your solar panels should continue to work at their highest efficiency for many years to come, providing you with clean, sustainable solar electricity. Hopefully, our guide has shed some light on the nuances of solar panel maintenance. And, if you’re looking for more information, you should check out our energy section for more tips and advice on keeping your panels running smooth.