Solar panels often get a bad wrap for being difficult to maintain but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, installing solar panels is a great way to save yourself time, money and energy. However, it’s always important to give maintenance to things you want to last so in this instalment, we’ll tell you our best tips on how to maintain your solar panels.
Why Do Solar Panels Need Cleaning?
The first and most important reason is because of their function in your home – solar panels need to be exposed to sunlight in order to work their best! The greater sunlight exposure, the greater energy output we get from the panels. This can be inhibited by dirt and dust, so it’s important to maintain them.
Generally, solar panels will be cleaned by natural weather phenomena like rain and snowmelt, but it’s important to give them a bit of TLC when you can to ensure their function isn’t impaired.
How Do I Clean My Solar Panels Myself?
The first step to cleaning solar panels is inspecting the surface and making a plan first! As always, consider your safety before jumping up on the roof and make sure you have the necessary protective gear to stay safe while you maintain your solar panels. Depending on the method you choose, you might need:
- A hard hat or helmet
- Shoes with good grip
- A sturdy ladder
- A safety harness
The general best practice is using a water hose and rinsing the solar panels and it’s usually all the panels will require! Simply spray the hose water onto the panels and let gravity do the hard work while you stand in your garden. This is the safest way to clean solar panels and is super effective when you do it on a regular basis.
For more stubborn stains or debris, using a cloth with some isopropyl alcohol will be an effective and easy method. This can be used with soft brushes or sponges for very dirty surfaces. Using detergent or harsh soaps is not recommended due to the residue they leave behind on the panels.
Another great method is using a squeegee – just like you would on regular windows! This ensures a nice clean finish for those who want their solar panels to sparkle.
When Should I Call in a Professional?
Solar panels are very easy to care for and maintain yourself. However, if you have left them for a long period of time or if you notice a serious amount of build up affecting your panels it could be a good time to get some expert help.
For anyone elderly or not confident in using a ladder, professional solar panel cleaning is also an option. Overall, safety should be top of mind when cleaning solar panels.
Your solar panels were built for residential use and you can absolutely maintain them yourself! By looking after the condition of your solar panels, you’re ensuring their longevity in providing you with affordable, clean power. Solar panels are a great investment, so make sure you invest in them too!