A solar panel system is definitely an investment to think about; it adds value to your home and helps save money on energy bills. But according to the people at Vivint Solar, if you want to get the most from anyhome solar panels you have installed then you will need to look after them. Howwould you go about this though? After all, you are not a solar panel expert, and you are highly unlikely to understand the inner workings of them.
Thankfully, you don’t need to know how to fix solar panels or even check if they are operating at optimum levels. You can hire a contractor to do this for you. What you could and should do however, is ensure they are kept clean.
How Often Should Solar Panels be Cleaned?
If you hire professional solar panel servicers to come and check your system once per year, they will usually clean the panels during their visit. When they do this, they will remove any dirt and debris, ensuring the panels are working as efficiently as possible. But should you clean your panels too?
The answer really depends on how dirty they get during the year. If you live in a dry and dusty environment, they may need to be cleaned more than once a year. Dirty solar panels simply do not perform as efficiently as when they are clean. Depending on the level of dust on the panels, performance levels could drop significantly.
If you live in an area that gets a lot of rain during the year, you may not need to clean the panels so often;perhapsthe annual clean by the servicing company will be sufficient.
How to Clean Solar Panels
If your panels do need more regular cleaning, it is important to do it properly so as not to damage them. It is best to check the manufacturer’s guidelines for the correct method of cleaning the panels because using a product or piece of equipment that is not recommended could damage the panels and potentially cause your warranty to be voided.
If you have a flat roof, cleaning the panels will be easier but if the roof is pitched, you need tobe comfortable working at height on a ladder and make sure that you are fully secured before starting.
Avoid cleaning the solar panels on a hot day to prevent cracking glass as the water is drying. It is best to use a gentle liquid soap mixed with warm water and vinegar. Make sure you switch the panels off before you start cleaning and only clean the top side.
Use a soft brush to remove dirt and bird poop. Once you have removed the dirt, you can wash them with the water, soap, and vinegar and a soft sponge. Make sure you wear rubber gloves to protect your hands.
Once you have cleaned away the dirt with the soapy solution, use a hose to rinse the panels clean. Avoid using a power hose though as this could damage the panels. You can use a microfiber cloth to dry the panels and remove any streaks.
Monitor the System
After you have cleaned the panels, monitor their performance levels to make sure that everything is working as it should. You may notice a marked improvement in performance levels after they have been cleaned.
Some people like to rinse their solar panels monthly to minimize the amount of cleaning required. By staying on top of it, you will not have to spend time scrubbing dirt away every few months and your panels will perform at their best.