With no moving parts and no power source, home solar panels seem to work as if by magic. But as impressive as they are, like all other technologies, they need to be looked after and maintained.
The good news is, keeping your solar panels in tip-top condition isn’t difficult. In fact, just a minimal amount of effort will ensure you get the optimal sunlight conversion for the longest time possible.
Let’s start with a disclaimer: Only try to clean home solar panels if it is safe to do so!
If your panels are easily accessible, then, by all means, clean them yourself. If you have to hang off the roof with one arm while cleaning with the other, then just leave them!
Also, bear in mind that cleaning with soap and water can make the area slippery, and if you’re using a hose, there’s a chance it might pull you off the roof as you climb back down.
If you can’t maintain your solar panels safely, then please hire the professionals to do it. The team who installed them will probably offer this service, and if they don’t, they should be able to recommend someone who does.
Basic home solar panels inspection
Home solar panels generally require very little attention. At the time of installation, they will be tilted to their ideal angle, allowing for the most sunlight to be captured, and as they are made from tempered glass, they’re incredibly tough, so rarely crack or chip.
If your panels are not working as well as they should, or you notice a drop off in electricity production, it’s usually due to the inverter rather than the panels themselves.
However, don’t forget the basic rule; solar panels only work when the sun shines on them! If yours have dropped in efficiency, then it might be something as simple as a tree or vegetation growing and blocking out the sun.
Keep nearby trees trimmed, and clear any leaves, twigs, or branches which have fallen.
Keep your panels free from debris such as plastic bags, bird droppings or dirt. If you’re near the outback or live near the beach, sand can soon build up and obstruct the sunlight, so keep an eye out for that.
How to clean home solar panels
A lot of the time, just a simple, regular rinse with a hose should be enough to keep solar panels clean. If you live in an area where it rains a lot, even that might be enough to do the job.
If you live in a more dry, dusty climate, then a good wash is needed every six weeks or so. The trick is to remember solar panels are glass and should be treated as such. The more transparent they are, the more efficient they will be, and the more money you will save.
Solar panel cleaning kits are available, but if you want to do it yourself, it’s as simple as cleaning your windows. Just make sure you don’t use an abrasive soap or use a sponge. These can scratch the panels. Keep them smooth and polished by using a soft rag or biodegradable soap.
Soap and water is fine, and you should stay away from harsh cleaning materials. These chemicals can damage the panels, even on a microscopic level, leading to corrosion and a decrease in efficiency.
Why you should maintain your solar panels
Most home solar systems come with a minimum 20-year warranty, but that doesn’t mean they will work at 100% the entire time.
Like any other machine in your home, regular upkeep will help make solar panels last longer and work more productively.
And the more efficient your panels are, the more electricity you make, and the more money you save!
A good way to see the difference regular cleaning makes to your solar panels, is to record their day-to-day performance.
At roughly the same time every day, take a note of how much electricity your system is producing, and as the number drops, give your panels a clean and note the difference afterwards.
Many home solar systems already come with a daily recording system, so check with your installer.
Give us a call if you’re interested in a home solar system
If you have any more questions about how to clean home solar panels or you would like to install a system in your home, please give us a call today.
We provide a wide range of electrical and solar powered systems, services and installation, carried out by highly qualified and experienced electricians.
We can handle any job, no matter what size, and we believe there are several reasons why you should choose us for all your residential or commercial work.
Get on board today when it comes to solar power and start saving sooner rather than later.