If you’re thinking about investing in solar panels for your home, you probably have some high hopes for what this technology will do for years to come.
Unfortunately, if you don’t understand the importance of solar panel maintenance, you probably won’t enjoy these benefits for very long.
5 Things You Have to Know About Solar Panel Maintenance
Solar panel maintenance is actually a lot easier than most people think (as you’re about to see). However, it’s still not a topic to be taken lightly.
If you don’t understand the following five points about maintaining sola panel, you’ll eventually experience problems.
1. Many Solar Panel Companies Provide Maintenance Options
If you’re worried about handling solar panel maintenance all on your own, don’t worry.
Chances are that either the company that manufactured your panels or the one that installed them will offer a maintenance program – just like the kind many dealerships offer when you buy a vehicle from them.
The reason is simple: if your panels quit working – even if it’s because of neglect on your part – their business is going to suffer. They want to make sure your panels work and keep you happy for as long as possible.
2. Solar Panel Maintenance Companies Exist
That might not be the case, though. Some manufacturers don’t offer these programs and you may have handled installation all on your own.
Fortunately, there are solar panel maintenance companies that specialize in making sure yours continue working as they should.
3. Do Solar Panels Need Maintenance in the First Place?
The good news is that your solar panels really don’t need a lot of maintenance to begin with.
However, solar panels are built for installation on roofs where they’ll constantly be subjected to the elements. If they were even remotely delicate, solar panels wouldn’t be an option for the vast majority of places they’re currently installed.
In fact, you can expect to go 25 years before your solar panels need maintenance. At that point, it’s probably not a bad idea to hand the job over to the professionals who can carry out a complete assessment of your panels before proceeding with doing any maintenance work.
Now, there is one exception and that’s making sure your solar panels stay clean. You should have them washed clean of dirt, dust, and other forms of debris at least twice a year. Four times a year is ideal, though.
A lot of you will be able to simply hit your panels with the garden hose from your yard and that will be sufficient.
However, if you live somewhere that sees snow in the winter, gets a lot of fallen leaves in the fall, or you otherwise notice that the weather leads to a lot of debris covering them, you may need to take a more hands-on approach. Again, it’s probably best to hire professionals for this given the potential dangers of scaling your roof.
The important thing is that nothing is getting in the way of solar power reaching your panels. Although it might not seem like the worst problem, a coat of grime will be enough to drastically reduce how much electricity your panels can produce.
4. Keep Track of the Production Your Warranty Guarantees
Sometimes, it might not be entirely obvious that your solar panels need maintenance. From the ground, you may not be able to tell that there’s dust or grime keeping them from reaching their potential.
One way to tell if your solar panels need a thorough cleaning or some kind of maintenance work done is to check its electricity production against what the warranty guaranteed it could produce.
These warranties usually cover 15 to 20 years, so if you notice a problem during that time, the maintenance work should be free. This is also why it’s important to keep an eye on your panels after this time period. They should last for at least another 10 years, but you want to push that number as much as possible by having maintenance work done when necessary.
Again, check your individual warranty, but most solar panels’ outputs should fall under 85% for their first 25 years in operation.
5. How Much Does Solar Panel Maintenance Cost?
If it’s covered by your warranty, your solar panel maintenance will be free.
However, maintenance can cost $2,000 over the entire life of a single panel. It all depends on what you need. Obviously, a thorough cleaning is going to cost a lot less than replacing batteries, inverters, or entire panels.
This is why you shouldn’t bother installing any solar panels that don’t come with a warranty. Review it to see what you’re required to do to keep the warranty intact and confirm that it offers some kind of guarantee.
Solar Panel Maintenance Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated
In the end, solar panels need maintenance, but you don’t need to stress out about it.
All you need to do is ensure they’re kept clean and use professional services whenever necessary, which is especially easy if your panels come with a warranty. Also, be sure to include solar panel maintenance in your requirements for buying them in the first place.