- Posted by Smart Homes Investments
- On June 1, 2018
Today’s solar panel technology is so sophisticated, it’s hard to come up with reasons not to invest in them for your own home. With a 92% efficiency rating, after 20 years, solar energy is guaranteed to keep saving you money for decades to come.
If you’ve decided to take the plunge into solar, you may be wondering what solar panel maintenance you can do to ensure you have the most effective and long-lasting solar energy system for your money.
The good news is that solar panel cleaning and maintenance is easier than almost any other care aspect of your home exterior. It doesn’t require a special set of tools or expensive cleaners. It doesn’t even require much of your time to keep them working at their best.
Whether you’re looking to cut your energy bill or simply be a little kinder to the planet, following these simple steps will help keep you in the green.
Solar panels are completely stationary. This means they require very little repair or upkeep. The most important maintenance required is to keep them clean so they can absorb as much solar energy possible. A cloudy film on your panels reduces the amount of solar energy that can penetrate them.
Since solar panels are installed at a steep angle, rain often clears them of dust and pollen residue and runs off the panels with little issue. However, if you live in a dry climate or are it’s a high-pollen season, it’s a good idea to check them more often.
Many homeowners give their panels a rinse with a garden hose to take care of any dry debris. If you have tougher buildup such as bird droppings, a non-abrasive soap and warm water solution applied with a dry cloth or squeegee can clear off stubborn residue.
Since solar panels are made of glass, they don’t require special cleaners. Any method used to clean glass is typically sufficient for solar glass.
If your solar panels are hard to reach or you simply don’t have time to clean them regularly, you can even install sprinkler cleaning systems that will periodically take care of any residue for you. This is especially handy in a dry or dusty climate.
There are also solar panel maintenance and cleaning companies that offer these services for a fee. The company that provides or installs your solar panels may even offer this service direct to you in a package.
Check the Frames and Wiring
It’s a good idea to occasionally check the condition of the panel wiring and the frames that hold them in place. Frayed or chewed wiring can cause major electrical issues, as can nesting or debris forced under the panels by animals.
Make sure you look at the frames for any gaps or cracks where dust or water can get into the system. Take note of signs of water damage to fuses or electrical connectors, and keep an eye out for corrosion signs.
Keep the Panels in Direct Sun
Solar panels require as much prolonged access to the sun’s rays as possible each day. Though they are installed with this principle in mind, sometimes sun patterns change slightly. Changes in your lawn or landscape can have an effect on your sunlight paths, as well.
As the years go by, surrounding trees and bushes may start to encroach on the area your solar panels occupy. You want to be mindful of how much shade the flora in your yard casts, and diligently trim away any branches or foliage that blocks the sun’s path.
Over the years, it’s important to monitor the sun exposure of your solar panels to make sure they are in the most ideal position on your property.
Though solar panels are resistant to most damage, severe weather does carry some small risk of scratching or pockmarking your solar glass. Make sure to inspect your panels after bouts of hail. If branches or heavy debris come in contact with your solar setup, they could mark the surface slightly and reduce absorption capability.
Should scratches or other surface damage occur, it might be necessary to have your panels repaired?
You can keep a close eye on the performance of your solar panels by installing an energy monitor. Available in a variety of models from simple displays to comprehensive app-driven systems, these monitors can track your energy metrics.
Should your performance decrease without a change in sunlight, you can troubleshoot your solar system based on your tracking results. You will also get daily and cumulative data, which can help you chart your energy efficiency and savings over time.
Solar Panel Maintenance is Simple
If you’re looking for a low-effort method of reducing your carbon footprint and energy bills, solar panels are a fantastic option. Solar panel maintenance is far less time consuming than other lifestyle changes, and they offer great savings over their lifetime.
With a little basic care and common sense, your solar panels can last you for years to come.
If you’re looking for more ways to get big returns on your home improvement projects, visit our blog at Smart Home Investments today.