Are you wondering if the newly installed solar panel system in your home requires regular cleaning or maintenance? Are you debating between cleaning it yourself or getting professionals? Let me answer all those queries for you.
When it comes to cleaning your panels there are several factors it can depend on. In this blog, I will explain why and how often you should clean your panels along with whether it can be done at home or by professionals.
Why should you clean your Solar Panels?
The main reason to clean your panels is that when panels get covered by excess dirt or debris, they will not be able to generate maximum power. A gradual build-up of dirt and debris over time can reduce up to 25% efficiency of your solar panel production system.
However, one good thing is that rain and snowmelt can clean off dirt or animal droppings that have built up. But if your location does not get rainfall and has dusty weather conditions you will have to clean your panels regularly.
The cleaning of your panels is an easy process however, there are risks involved when cleaning the panels situated on the roof. Hence, it is recommended to get professional cleaners when the situation demands it.
How often should you clean your Solar Panels?
Some homeowners tend to ignore the solar panel cleaning process. However, in most cases, manufacturers recommend that your panels be cleaned and inspected at least once every six months.
Regular panel cleaning will ensure that your solar panel system is working efficiently at all times. Besides, regular checking can identify any minor issues and also prevent cracks and fire risks.
How often you should clean your solar panels is contingent on a few factors:
if your area gets a lot of rainfall, you will not need to clean your panels as regularly. But if your area is dusty and windy with less precipitation, regular cleaning is a must.
Besides, if you are located somewhere there is a possibility of bird droppings, in that case, regular cleaning is essential.
The angle of your panel
if your panels are steeply tilted then they tend to gather less dust and stay cleaner whereas more horizontal panels need regular cleaning as they accumulate more dust and debris.
The areas that get the most sunlight are deserts with a lot of dusty winds. So, if you are located in an area where the dust accumulates more, then you should clean your panels every six months or more if necessary.
Getting the panels cleaned professionally every time may cost you some extra money but the long-term benefits are plenty. This will ensure your panels work efficiently for decades providing you with an optimal power supply.
How should you clean your panels?
The good part about cleaning solar panels is that it does not require any special chemicals or equipment. You can simply use a soft bristle brush and soap-water solution to clean the panels.
Solar panels that are situated on the ground on single-storied rooftops are fairly easy to clean will long-handle brushes. It is important to remember that any item that can create abrasions on your panel like a hard sponge or strong bleach or chemical can damage your panels. Hence, a simple 3% water-soap solution can be used for the purpose with a soft brush.
When panels are difficult to access then they are difficult to clean. You cannot use any high-pressure hose as they will damage your panels. In these cases, getting professional cleaners is the best solution.
Another good way to protect your panels is using a solar panel protective cover. You can use them when your panels may be left unattended for a while.
Should you hire a Professional Cleaning Service?
Although I have mentioned that home cleaning solar panels is an easy process but there are a few reasons why it is recommended that you hire professionals to clean the panels:
- Professional cleaners use de-ionized water for cleaning panels which will ensure a spot-free finish and prevent your panels from accumulating dirt.
- Professionals can also check over your system for any performance issues in your system. They can notice micro-cracks, bird nests, or animals like rats and possums and take necessary actions. This will ensure an overall healthy solar panel system that can work efficiently.
- Another reason to get a professional cleaner is the risks involved in cleaning rooftop panels. You can injure yourself without the right gear.
Experts state that solar panels need a thorough cleaning at least once or twice a year. However, I would recommend that you clean your solar panels whenever any visible dirt accumulation is present. Besides, your location, solar panel design, and rooftop situation will influence when you must clean your panels.
Solar panels can help save money on your electric bill. Hence it is important that you maintain the system properly to achieve optimal energy production. Knowing more about how solar energy works will give you an idea of how to maintain your solar system properly.
Checking and cleaning the solar panels every six months to a year can ensure that your solar PV system is working efficiently. Sometimes, small performance issues can be fixed simply by cleaning the panels.
- Solar Panels should be cleaned every six months.
- Regular cleaning will ensure the optimal performance of the solar panels.
- Cleaning should be done carefully to avoid damage to panels.
1. Does cleaning your solar panels make them more efficient?
Gradual dust and debris build-up on your panels will decrease the efficiency of your panels. So, cleaning the panels will ensure that your entire panel system is working properly and efficiently.
- When is the best time to clean solar panels?
It is recommended that you clean your solar panels during the early morning or on a cloudy day. Bright sunlight will evaporate the cleaning water and dirt will be stuck instead of being cleaned properly.
- Can you clean solar panels with a pressure washer?
No, pressure washers have the potential to damage your solar panels. Hence, cleaning your panels with a high reach and pressure washer must be avoided.