Solar panels generally require very little maintenance to function, so yes, you can usually just let them be. The only thing they need is a periodic light cleaning to make sure dirt, leaves, and other debris aren’t obstructing the sun’s rays.
The only time you may need more extensive maintenance is during periods of heavy snowfall, as inches of snow can hinder solar panels performance.
Can you monitor the health of your solar panels?
If your panels’ energy output starts to decrease, you can monitor it via an app. Lower energy output could be a sign that your panels are obstructed by something, like debris, and cannot generate their typical electricity amount.
By integrating a solar panel monitoring system into your setup, you can track how much energy your panels produce on any given day, and how much they produce over time. This allows you to see exactly how various external factors affect your panels’ performance and how well they’re maintaining their efficiency.
How to maintain your solar panels
Luckily, solar panels require minimal maintenance to ensure they keep working properly and producing solar energy for your home. The most common type of maintenance required for your panels is cleaning. Dirt and debris can collect on your panels, especially during storms or extended periods without rainfall. Occasional cleaning can remove this debris and ensure that your solar panels get the optimal amount of sunlight.
The other type of maintenance you may wish to do for your solar panels is an annual inspection. During a solar panel inspection, a professional — often someone from your solar panel installer — will come to your home and take a look at your panels, just to make sure everything is working as it should any other maintenance appointments can simply be scheduled as needed if and when you notice a problem with your solar panels or that they aren’t producing energy as they should.
How often do solar panels need maintenance?
As we mentioned, solar panel maintenance is fairly minimal. There are generally three different schedules to keep in mind:
Annual inspection: once per year, hire a professional to inspect your solar panels and ensure they’re working properly.
Cleaning: in general, plan to have your solar panels cleaned about twice per year. You may only need one cleaning per year if you live in an area with lots of rain and where your solar panels don’t collect much dirt or debris. But if you live in an area where your solar panels don’t get much rain or collect lots of dirt or debris, plan for more cleanings.
Tips for cleaning solar panels
- Cooler days are better to complete a solar panel cleaning project because they minimize the risk of cracking glass as the water dries.
- Abrasive, heavy-duty detergent is not recommended for cleaning solar panels.
- Solar panels must be turned off before cleaning, and the underside should never be touched.
- It’s safest to clean solar panels from the ground with extension tools while wearing gloves. However, homes with second or third stories may require climbing up to the roof.
- Homeowners who are unsure of their ability to clean their solar panels safely should consider calling local solar cleaning companies to complete the job for them.
What is the standard warranty for solar panels?
It is important to ensure that the solar panels you install come with a good warranty.
A good solar company will give you a warranty of between 15 and 25 years, and guarantee that your panels’ energy production remains in great condition for that entire time.