Solar panels present the evolution in energy consumption. They are indeed a big investment, yet they completely pay off. Solar panels provide multiple benefits to homeowners, as they lower the electricity bills. Providing your home with solar power energy, you help the environment as they lower carbon footprints. Finally, your home will have a greater value, which is a good thing to know if you decide to sell. However, installing solar panels is not the final step here. They can last for a couple of decades, but they require regular maintenance and cleaning. This guide will show you how to properly take care of your energy sources – here are the best tips for solar panel maintenance.
Why it’s important to practice regular solar panel maintenance?
Many homeowners are not aware of the importance of proper cleaning and maintenance of their solar panels. They are usually familiar with only one of the potential problems – the loss of power. Irregular maintenance and buildup of dirt can reduce energy production by up to 25 percent. But there are more issues you can deal with in the future if you forget about these precious power producers on top of your home. It can increase your electricity bill and spend more than other power sources. Finally, a severe buildup of dirt can completely block the natural light, leading to overheating and a drop in efficiency.
What’s the best way to take care of your solar panel?
If you practice regular maintenance of your home, you should also include your solar panels on the checklist of tasks. Here are some tips homeowners should know to ensure they maintain their energy sources properly.
Don’t skip it
As with any other regular maintenance, you should check solar panels on your home from time to time. Making a yearly schedule of things to check around the house is very helpful here. Decide what you should do each season, and stick to your list. Depending on their height, solar panels collect more or less debris, dirt, pollen, and bird poop buildup. Also, if your home is surrounded by trees, you should check your solar panels after the leaves fall– the same way you check the gutters. Falling leaves in autumn can seriously block the sunlight, which is why regular checkups are necessary.
Install an energy monitor
It’s important to keep track of how much energy your solar panels produce. Checking your bills is not that precise, as you can only monitor how much energy your household spends. However, it doesn’t track the capacity and production levels of the panels. That’s why an energy monitor can be a great way to collect daily data and also see trends across a longer period. Some devices even allow you to collect this information on your mobile phone – another great feature for all the geeks among you.
Furthermore, these monitors will track the carbon footprint levels. This is useful if there’s a FIT (feed-in tariffs) scheme available, as you can significantly lower your costs.
Check the inverters
Solar panel inverters are one of the essential pieces of equipment for producing solar energy. They convert DC to AC, converting direct current electricity to alternating electricity. If the lights on your inverters flash green, everything is working fine. However, if you notice red or orange light flashing, this can mean you’re losing money as there’s a system fault. This is a task you can do once a month – it doesn’t take a lot of time, but it can make sure you don’t’ waste energy and money.
Don’t rely solely on rain
Many people forget about their solar panels expecting rain and wind will do all the work. However, some seasons come with less rain than usual, leaving dirt on your solar panels. Also, if your solar panels are not steep enough, these washes will not be too efficient. Cleaning your solar panels is not difficult, but it can be very efficient for regular solar panel maintenance. Depending on the condition of your panels, you can use water or a window or panel cleaner for better results. Wash the panels, but avoid any type of scratching or using abrasive products, as these can damage the top layer of the panels. Instead, you can use a mix of water, vinegar, or dissolved rubbing alcohol for more persistent, oily stains.
Also, people often use pressure washers to clean multiple surfaces around their homes. In case you use it for your panels, make sure you don’t get close to the glass. Even though panels are quite sturdy, high pressure can cause cracks. Use soft cloths and wipe your panels the same way you’d wipe your windows. Finally, there are automated cleaners you can install – they work as sprinklers to clean the panels.
Get professional services from time to time
Hiring a professional will ensure better results, as with any other maintenance task. That’s why you should contact an expert solar panel cleaner from time to time. This is particularly important when cleaning solar panels is not the safest task. If your panels are located at steep, hard-to-reach places, it’s best to trust the cleaning process to an experienced pro.
Bird-proof the panels
Birds are lovely creatures, yet they can do a lot of damage to your home. Apart from doing damage to your roof and balcony and spreading diseases, birds can make your panels dirty and even damage them. That’s why you need to protect your panels by installing efficient solutions for bird control that will keep these flyers away from your roof.
Apply our solar panel maintenance tips
Finally, always stay safe when it comes to solar panel maintenance. Due to their location, these represent one of the riskiest parts of our homes. Always insist on safety, and use safe ladders and fall protection when doing anything close to your roof and panels. That’s why professionals are a much more secure way to keep your panels in good condition without the risks of injury.