Solar panels are a long-term investment that can serve your home for decades with minimal maintenance. However, that doesn’t mean you can install them once and ignore them forever after. In fact, yearly inspections and cleaning are vital to keeping them working as intended. But how much will solar panel maintenance cost and when should you tackle it?
Average Solar Panel Maintenance Prices
Generally speaking, you’ll have to spend anywhere between $300 and $700 for professional solar panel maintenance. However, the costs vary drastically depending on a few factors:
- Location: As with any service, local contractors are the ones deciding how much maintenance costs. That’s why prices will fluctuate from state to state and even from city to city. Thus, you might pay around $400 for solar maintenance in Florida, while it might cost up to $700 in California.
- Size of the system: A large solar energy system will take more time to properly inspect and clean. On the other hand, some contractors charge an additional fee for very small systems. As a result, the size of your system plays an important role in the overall maintenance price.
- Surrounding environment: Are nearby trees shading your solar energy system? Then you may need to pay for tree trimming to keep your solar panels working at maximum efficiency.
- Condition of your solar panels: If your solar panels haven’t been inspected in a while, they might require intensive repairs or even replacement. From the panels themselves to the solar inverter, there are many parts that could get damaged over time, increasing the maintenance fees.
- Solar panel placement: Most homeowners install solar panels on their rooftops. However, others place them on the ground or on the sides of the houses. Therefore, contractors may need extra hours or additional laborers to ensure the safety of their employees.
How Can I Tell If My Solar Panels Require Maintenance?
There are two main signs that you can use to determine if your solar panels require maintenance. For starters, check if your energy output has decreased. Usually, random drops or inconsistent readings can indicate that a component is malfunctioning and needs to be replaced or repaired. Remember that most solar energy systems feature a small green monitor that flashes or turns on when there’s a problem.
Next, you should visually inspect your solar panels. Are they covered in dirt and dust? Is there a nearby tree that shades the system? If so, then you might want to contact a professional company and request their help. Keep in mind that postponing the maintenance might lead to permanent damage to your solar system.
Should I Handle the Maintenance by Myself?
If your solar panels are installed on the ground, you might be able to inspect and clean them yourself. Just make sure to read the manufacturers’ instructions and avoid harsh chemicals. Our advice is to use a soft brush and some soapy water to remove dirt and debris.
However, you shouldn’t try to climb your roof in order to clean your solar panels. Not only do you risk hurting yourself, but you can also damage your panels. You might even end up voiding your warranty, which means you’ll have to pay for any future repairs or replacements out of your own pocket. So, when it comes to roof-mounted systems, it’s better to call a professional for cleaning and any other maintenance tasks.
The Bottom Line
Solar panel maintenance is essential, especially if you want to make sure that they function with high efficiency for many years to come. In fact, debris and dirt can greatly reduce their energy generation potential. Nearby trees can also do permanent damage to your solar energy system, requiring you to pay thousands of dollars to replace or fix it.
Fortunately, solar panel maintenance tends to be quite affordable, which makes it accessible for most budgets. And while you could reduce these costs by cleaning your own panels, you shouldn’t risk climbing onto your roof. Always contact a local company to do it for you!