When the weather warms up outside, it doesn’t take long to notice that your solar panels have gotten dirty over the long months of fall and winter. Then arrives spring pollen, bird droppings, frequent rain, and the associated layer of mud and muck on your panels. By the time summer rolls around, there can be quite a film of dust, dirt, and debris that have attached themselves to your panels over the course of the year.
If this sounds familiar, you may be wondering is there anything you can do? Is it even safe to clean solar panels? The answer is, yes! Solar panels can be safely cleaned providing it is done correctly by a trained professional. As a matter of fact, there are many compelling reasons to consider implementing professional solar panel cleaning into your yearly maintenance plan. Continue reading to learn more about solar panel cleaning and its many benefits!
Why Should You Consider Professional Solar Panel Cleaning?
There are several advantages to having your solar panels professionally cleaned each year. Consider them below:
Curb Appeal – Solar panels are typically placed where they will receive the most direct sunlight. This is often in your yard or on top of your roof. With such prominent locations for display, the first thing people may notice when arriving at your home is your panels. If they are obviously dirty, the overall appearance of your home may be negatively impacted. Conversely, when you keep your panels clean, the exterior of your home will simply look better, increasing its curb appeal.
Improve Efficiency – The entire purpose of solar panels is to create cleaner energy and lower your utility bills. Unfortunately, dirt, grime, bird droppings, and other debris can impair your panels from functioning their best. However, when you have them regularly maintained with professional cleaning, they will be much more efficient, so you save big on your electric bill.
Don’t Void Your Warranty – It is common for solar panel manufacturers to offer a warranty on their product. Although, they often require you to have them professionally cleaned, on a regular interval, to avoid voiding your warranty. Ensure that your warranty continues, and your panels are protected with regular cleanings.
Catch Damage Early – Since solar panels are constantly exposed to the elements, from time to time, they may become damaged. Issues such as delamination and cracking are frequent offenders and should be addressed promptly. When you trust the professionals to clean your panels, they will also thoroughly inspect each panel and identify issues that need repaired. This ensures that any damage does not go undetected, so your panels are always functioning at their best, subsequently increasing your energy efficiency.
Get Rid of Pests – There are lots of cute critters outside, but when they try to make a home or nest in your solar panels it can be problematic. When you have your panels cleaned, the professionals will find and remove any nests and or pests that are reducing the efficiency of your panels/causing damage to your expensive investment.
Save Money Over Time – Regularly maintaining your portable solar panel will help ensure that they continue working efficiently throughout the years. They will last longer and perform better than if they were neglected, saving you money as they won’t need to be replaced as often.
But Is Solar Panel Cleaning Really Necessary?
The question of whether cleaning solar panels is really necessary, often causes disagreement. There are generally two viewpoints regarding solar panel cleaning: that the rain is enough to keep them clean or that they should be meticulously cleaned often. As with most things, a balanced view is necessary. While solar panels will continue to work even if they aren’t cleaned, the benefits discussed above, make regular cleanings well-worth it.
Statistically speaking, the efficiency of your panels will be reduced as much as 5% if build-up is left go overtime. Even if you feel this is a minimal trade-off, consider that this percentage effects each individual panel. Thus, for those with large systems, 5% spread over an entire system can quickly add up to major losses, especially when considering the impact over the course of a year. Henceforth, investing in maintenance is a great choice for the environment, for your wallet, and for the longevity and functioning of your panels.
When Should I Consider Having My Panels Cleaned?
Having your solar panels professionally cleaned should become part of your seasonal maintenance. It is recommended that you have them cleaned at least once annually, although it is advantageous to have them cleaned twice a year or whenever you notice an abundance of build-up. Additionally, if you are planning to list your home, in the near future, having your panels cleaned can help improve the appearance and appeal of your home.
Lastly, if you have recently purchased a home that has solar panels, it is wise to invest in professional cleaning, so you get the most energy savings out of them. After all, you don’t know how well the previous owner cared for them.
What Are Some Signs to Look For That It’s Time For A Professional Cleaning?
There are several signs that your solar panels need to be cleaned. Some of these include:
1) Excessive buildup – Typically, there will be some amount of dust, dirt, and grime build up on your panels over time. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, excessive buildup can cause problems with efficiency and should be addressed promptly.
2) Birds nesting – Whenever birds start building nests inside your panels, it is a sign that your panels need immediate attention. Nesting inside your panels can lead to costly damage and reduce the efficiency of your panels.
3) Poor performance – If your panels aren’t performing as expected, it could indicate it is time for a professional cleaning as build-up is one of the primary reasons for poor performance.
4) Mold Build-up – Mold is a fungus that grows on surfaces that remain damp for extended periods of time. Since, your panels are constantly exposed to nature, overtime moisture may result in mold or mildew growth. If you notice any mold growing on your panels, this is a strong indicator that they need to be professionally cleaned ASAP.
Now that you know that solar panel cleaning is both safe and advantageous, what are you waiting for!? Don’t delay, have your professional solar panel cleaning scheduled today!