Excited about the prospect of owning solar panels? If so, you should know that cleaning your solar panels may also be necessary at some point.
This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about the topic.
Is Solar Panel Cleaning Actually Necessary?
Before we delve into the specifics about how to clean solar panels, we should first mention that this is actually a somewhat controversial topic. In short, some people believe that solar panel cleaning is unnecessary.
There are two main reasons for this.
The first is that they really don’t get that dirty in the first place. There are exceptions, of course. You may live in an area that sees sandstorms or the geese took a liking to your panels during migration.
For the most part, though, those against cleaning solar panels don’t really think it’s a priority.
That’s because of their second reason which is that rain pretty much handles the issue. So even if your panels do suffer from some amount of debris (e.g. left over from winter winds and snow), rain will eventually resolve the problem.
One exception to this rule is panels that lie flat.
Even many of those who don’t think solar panel cleaning is necessary will agree that these need attention. As they’re not at an angle, rain may not do a lot to wipe grime away.
5 Things You Must Know About Solar Panel Cleaning
Nonetheless, many people disagree and believe solar panel cleaning is required to keep this technology working properly.
It certainly won’t hurt to learn about the process so you’ll be ready in case you decide that your solar panels actually do need some attention. In that case, it will help if you know about the following five pointers.
1. You Don’t Necessarily Need to Learn How to Clean Solar Panels
If you do believe that solar panel cleaning is important, the good news is that you don’t necessarily have to learn how to do it.
That’s because most manufacturers will provide you with solar panel cleaning services for free. Check your warranty as it will usually outline what these services entail and how often you can receive them.
The reason manufacturers are happy to pay for cleaning is because they don’t want your panels suffering for an easily avoidable reason. Even if they don’t work as well because of your own negligence, your neighbors may not know that.
All they know is that you don’t seem happy with them or even decided to take them down. Neither will reflect well on the company that made them.
2. There Are Also Solar Panel Cleaning Services
That said, if you’re manufacturer doesn’t offer solar panel cleaning services, don’t worry. There are other companies that will clean your panels.
3. Your Solar Panels Shouldn’t Need a Lot of Cleaning
The argument for cleaning solar panels is that, if you don’t, the eventual buildup of dirt, dust, grime, and other types of debris will interrupt their optimal functioning by blocking the sun.
Obviously, some people won’t have to worry about this problem because of where they live.
For others, it might be an actual problem that does. In fact, leave them with less electricity then they would otherwise enjoy from their panels.
In any case, you should only need to have your panels cleaned once a season, at most. Having it done twice a year will probably be plenty for most of you.
4. Solar Panel Cleaning Is Very Affordable
Prices will differ a bit depending on where you live. In some cities, there are multiple solar panel cleaning services competing for business, which drives prices down.
Then there are complete regions where only a dozen or so people have solar panels, so these services are considerably more expensive.
That said, solar panel cleaning services tend to cost about $130 to $150 for up to 32 panels, which is more than most homes haves (and businesses, for that matter). The entire process can usually be finished in two hours, as well.
5. Doing It Yourself Is an Option (But Be Careful)
For a lot of you, the extent of your solar panel cleaning will literally be using your garden hose and spraying them from the ground. You may have to use a small ladder to get there. If that’s possible, go right ahead.
Otherwise, be careful, as you just saw, solar panel cleaning services are extremely affordable. There’s no point in risking your physical safety when you only need to pay for this a few times a year.
Measure the Benefits of Cleaning Your Solar Panels
Whether you handle cleaning your solar panels or you hire someone else to do it, always check their energy output before and after to see if it’s actually making a difference. In the end, this will be the measurement that tells you if it’s really necessary or not.