Solar Panel Maintenance: FAQ – Your Questions Answered

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Benefit From Solar Incentives

Installing a solar system can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Not only do you benefit from lowered energy bills and increased property value, but you also gain access to renewable energy for years to come! While this is certainly cause for celebration, it’s important not to forget the importance of regularly maintaining your solar panels in order to ensure optimal performance.

 

Fortunately, high-quality systems are built with durability in mind; making them well equipped to handle common natural elements like wind and rain without compromising their efficiency or longevity. However, this does not mean that they are unbreakable. 

In order to prevent dealing with serious issues and shelling out thousands of dollars for repairs or replacements in the future, it is best to do routine solar panel cleaning and maintenance.

Here are a few Commonly Asked questions regarding solar panel maintenance and how you too can maintain your solar panels.

 

How much does solar panel maintenance cost?

The maintenance cost depends on several different factors. The size and complexity of a system will determine how much it will cost to maintain it. Your solar contractor can provide quotes for annual inspections and cleaning. In general, the modules do not need to be cleaned for the first 5 years of operation.

Can you monitor the health of your solar panels?

Yes, most solar systems have monitoring features. This enables real-time and historical analysis and the health of the solar system’s output. You and your solar contractor should both have access to the monitoring software. There are several solar monitoring systems, most of which are connected to your solar inverters. Another option to monitor your solar system is a plug-in that adds monitoring capabilities to your existing solar system.

What happens if there is snow on my solar panels?

The panels are tilted to help rain and snow slide off. Additionally, solar system production estimates factor in average weather data from local weather stations, including snow. During snow events, you do not need to brush snow off the panels. It is advised to leave the panels alone.

How to make your solar panels last longer?

Here are some tips to prevent your solar panels from fading or wearing out sooner.

  • Consistently monitor your system
  • Solar panels are warrantied by the manufacturer for a maximum percentage of degradation each year. Keep this in mind when monitoring your system.
  • Ensure your soar system remains unobstructed from trees and other large objects.
  • Work with your solar contractor to promptly address any issues.

 

How often should solar panels require maintenance?

Solar panel maintenance is relatively minimal and not required. Typically, there are three alternative timetables to consider:

  • Annual inspection: Hire a professional to inspect your solar panels annually to ensure they function properly.
  • Cleaning: In general, schedule a cleaning for your solar panels once per year. Plan for additional cleanings if you live in a region where your solar panels don’t get much rain or tend to accumulate a lot of dirt or debris. If you reside in a region with frequent rainfall and your solar panels don’t accumulate much dirt or debris, you can clean them less frequently.
  • Additional maintenance: You can arrange a maintenance appointment if an issue with your solar panels develops after your annual inspection.

Can I clean solar panels myself? 

Yes, but it is not advised. Many systems are installed on a pitched roof and are not safe to access without proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). You should consult your solar contractor for next steps if you wish to clean the solar panels. 

What are a few tips for solar panel maintenance?

Maintain your solar system with the following tips:

  • Check your energy usage
  • Document the performance of your solar panels over time
  • Hire a solar contractor to inspect and clean the system

Will solar panels lose their efficiency if I don’t clean them?

Like most solar panel owners, you might wonder how much maintenance solar systems need. The short answer is that solar panels can maintain their efficiency if kept clean. If you live in a region with average rainfall, routine cleaning is not necessary. Dust, pollen, bird droppings, and other debris can accumulate on solar panels, obstructing sunlight and lowering their capacity to produce power. Reach out to your solar contractor for maintenance options.

Do I need to hire a solar panel cleaning company?

Solar panels are an excellent way to reduce energy costs and do your part for the environment. Solar panels can accumulate debris, including dust, grime, and bird droppings, which lowers their efficiency. In general, the modules do not need to be cleaned for the first 5 years of operation. It is advised to consider a solar panel cleaning company at that point. While cleaning your solar panels yourself is possible, working with a specialized cleaning company is preferable. Companies specializing in cleaning solar panels have the expertise and tools required to clean your panels quickly and thoroughly. Additionally, maintenance programs are commonly provided by solar contractors.

Do I need to replace my roof before installing solar?

One of the most common questions solar panel owners ask is whether or not they need to replace their roofs before installing solar panels. The answer to this question depends on a few factors, including the age and condition of your roof. If you have an older roof that needs repair, replacing it before installing solar panels is generally a good idea. Solar systems are expected to operate beyond 30 years, and it is costly to remove and replace the system to re-roof. If you have a newer roof in good condition, you may not need to replace it before installing solar panels, but it’s always a good idea to consult with a professional to be sure. Solar panel maintenance is essential, and replacing your roof before installing solar panels can help prolong your system’s life.

 

Do I need to install solar batteries with my solar power system?

Solar batteries can be a great addition to a solar power system, but they are not required to generate solar power. They store solar energy to be used at night or on cloudy days when the sun isn’t shining.  Solar and battery storage systems are increasingly popular but have a high initial cost and require additional maintenance. They can be an economical choice if you live in a region with high electric costs and average sunlight. Batteries provide some energy independence as well. 

How can I prevent module damages caused by external factors?

Various external factors, including wind, hail, snow, and ice, can damage solar panel modules. Unfortunately, you cannot change the weather, but luckily, you can take a few steps to decrease the probability of module damage. 

  • First, work with your solar contractor to ensure that the modules are high quality and durable. Your solar contractor should also be NABCEP certified to install the system correctly.
  • Additionally, keep your solar panels clean and free of debris. This will help to prevent panel damage and maximize solar production.
  • Finally, regularly inspect your solar panel modules for signs of damage. This can be done from your monitoring software to identify potential problems. If you notice any issues, work with your solar installer to have the system inspected.

Keep Your Solar Panels in Tiptop Condition With Verde Solutions professional maintenance Services.

Maintaining your solar panels doesn’t have to be a hassle. Verde is here to make sure that you can trust in the regular maintenance and repair of your array so it runs at optimal performance, no matter who installed it originally. Rely on us for our expertise – Contact us at (800-541-1137) anytime for all your doubts.