Regular cleaning and maintenance are pivotal for the efficiency of solar panels. After all, panels cannot be at their most productive if they are covered by debris and dirt that prevent sunlight from reaching the solar cells. So, if you’re wondering, ‘How often should I clean my solar panels?’, we are here to help.
From maintenance tips to some general panel cleaning advice, here is all you need to know to keep your solar system running smoothly.
Do You Need to Clean Your Panels?
Though not many people realize it, solar panels actually require a lot of regular cleaning. If you think about it, they are kept outside, at the mercy of the elements. As such, they can get quite dirty, making them look unseemly.
However, the panels’ appearance is not the main factor that makes regular cleaning necessary. Namely, as grime, bird droppings, and dirt accumulate on the surface, the sunlight has a harder time reaching the photovoltaic cells inside the system. That, in turn, leads to a decrease in panel efficiency.
Thus, you have to clean your panels regularly if you want them to produce enough energy to power your home. Otherwise, you will most likely have to take some power from the grid as well, meaning that the panels won’t be saving you money.
How Often Do You Need to Clean Solar Panels?
Though this question seems rather simple, the answer is anything but straightforward. Generally speaking, experts agree that you should clean your solar panels at least once every six months. That way, you ensure that their efficiency can never decrease due to the elements.
However, there are instances where cleaning is necessary on an even more regular basis. For example, you might need to clean the panels at least three times a year if you live in an extremely dry area. Such conditions usually lead to a lot of dust accumulating on the glass, and rain doesn’t come often enough to remove it.
Additional cleanups will probably also be necessary for homes near wooded areas. Since your home is surrounded by a lot of trees, you have to expect a lot of birds as well. A larger number of birds means more bird droppings, and they can be a significant detriment to the efficiency of solar panels.
So, it is best to say that the regularity of panel cleanups depends on where you live. Certain locations require a more thorough approach to maintenance, while others allow you to clean the panels only once or twice a year.
Should You Clean the Panes by Yourself?
Even though the job might seem simple enough, you shouldn’t attempt to clean the solar panels on your own. For one, you could damage the glass on top of the panels, rendering them even less efficient.
Professional solar companies have special equipment they use for the cleaning process. Furthermore, their experienced workers know exactly how to handle the panels and how much force they can use to clean them without causing any damage.
In addition, cleaning the panels by yourself can be dangerous, as you have to handle cleaning equipment and lots of soapy water while being up on your roof. Thus, no matter how good you are, the area will be slippery enough to be potentially hazardous.
Therefore, it is best to hire a professional cleaning company for your dirty solar panels. It is also good to know that most solar providers also do maintenance. So, you can also contact the company that installed your panels and inquire about the process.
Solar panels require regular cleaning in order to work efficiently and make enough energy to power your home. Depending on where you live, you might have to clean your system anywhere from two to four times a year.
Whatever the number, you should always hire a reputable solar company to do the cleaning for you. That way, you will ensure the job is done correctly and that your panels last a long time.