Solar panels are a great addition to any home or office. It’s a good investment which is going to save you a lot of money in the long run with little to no maintenance required. It sounds simple enough but we decided to dive a little deeper into the maintenance aspect and just see how much effort is actually required. In order to achieve this, we got some help from Action Solar who shared their expertise on the topic.
Do they need maintenance at all?
The answer is yes, some maintenance is required, but unless some major breakdown occurs, you don’t really have to put too much effort. It is important for panels to be able to receive enough sunlight in order to produce the needed amount of energy for your home. Leaves, debris, dirt or snow might block the sunlight and some cleaning would do the trick. Some more serious problems might cause panels to produce gradually less energy.
How are they maintained?
Depending on how they are positioned you can get a very efficient ‘’self-maintenance’’. If your panels are set at an angle, the rain can be a natural way of cleaning the panels from dirt and debris, thus requiring less manual interference. If you want to keep your panels in good shape it is recommended to get up on the roof and clean them simply with a regular hose about 4 times a year, depending on the climate of your area. Dryer areas would require more direct cleaning. You can also use lukewarm water to clear snow, but avoid using hot water because the sudden change in temperature might cause the glass to break.
It is worth mentioning that there’s no big difference in maintenance between ground and roof panels. Those on the ground are easier to reach and could be then cleaned more often, but the downside is that they would take up space in your backyard.
Check the warranty
Just as any item you want to purchase it is important that warranty covers a decent amount of time. In the solar panels’ case, it should be from 15 to 25 years. Repairs are costly and should be done by a professional.
Solar panels vs harsh weather conditions
Solar panels were designed to sustain any sort of weather, even extreme forms like hurricanes can be repelled. No matter how strong the panels are it is important to have a good warranty and insurance in case they are damaged and repairs or even replacement is needed. Heat actually has the strongest effect on panels and it can decrease their efficiency in hot summer days, one way to deal with that is to place panels higher above the surface just to give room for air to flow.
If you want to have a clear picture of how much energy is produced or if there is any deficit, installing a monitoring system would be a good idea. This is especially useful during bad weather because you can see if those conditions affect performance negatively. Another perk is that you’d be alerted instantly if there’s any malfunction.
Handling repairs or replacement should be done by a professional solar panel repair company. If your panels are still under warranty you can contact the company and they will send someone to deal with your problem. You can also check your home insurance. Whatever the malfunction is, it is not recommended to do it yourself unless you have experience with repairing solar panels.
As you can see solar panels are not too demanding to maintain, it takes some cleaning a few times a year or after foul weather or heavy snow. As long as you have good insurance and a warranty you are good to go.