One of the best things about solar panels is that they don’t need a lot of maintenance. If you just spend a little time every now and then keeping them in shape, they’ll pay you back with cheap, clean energy for years to come. If you aren’t sure how to get started, pull up a chair for Solar Panel Maintenance 101.
Solar Panel Maintenance 101
One of the understandable reasons people can be hesitant about solar panels is the maintenance involved. After all, they are complex pieces of technology. If you aren’t technologically inclined, the idea of trying to care for them can be intimidating. What do you do if a solar panel needs to be cleaned? Repaired? Replaced?
We have good news. Taking care of solar panels is easier than you probably think it is. The best part is that a small amount of effort can translate into a long and productive lifespan for your solar investment. Curious? Join us for Solar Panel Maintenance 101. Class is now in session!
Step 1: Buy the Right Solar Panels
Since solar panels require minimal maintenance to begin with, one of the easiest ways to avoid issues with them is to buy the right solar panels in the first place. A solar panel should be built to last, and the guarantees it comes with should reflect that. A solar panel should last up to 25 years without needing repair or replacement, so purchase ones with a warranty that reflects that lifespan. The warranty should also guarantee that energy production will stay at 85 percent or more throughout that lifespan. It’s also a good idea to make sure your solar panels are covered by your home insurance, so check in with your insurance company before installation.
Step 2: Have Them Installed by the Experts
What’s the number one thing that limits the life of a solar panel? No, it’s not extreme weather or cloudy days. It’s having a solar array that is installed incorrectly, which can lead directly to damage and a need for early replacements. Before you get your solar array installed, consult with the experts. Don’t attempt a DIY solar installation unless you are a certified solar technician. Any money you save doing it on your own can be lost if you do it incorrectly!
Step 3: Monitor Your Energy Output
When your solar panels are installed, they should be accompanied by a monitoring system that will allow you to keep an eye on their energy output, among other factors. The sweet spot for solar panel function is 85 percent. Some degradation of power output is natural throughout the course of a solar panel’s life, but if energy outputs dip below that percentage, there are other issues to address.
Step 4: Clean Your Solar Panels
If your solar panels are not performing efficiently, there might be an easy fix. Solar panels perform best when their surfaces are kept clear of debris like snow or autumn leaves. It’s a good idea to clean your solar panels on a seasonal basis, as well as when their energy output unexpectedly dips. Cleaning solar panels typically just requires a hose or sponge with a telescoping handle. Gently clear any debris from the surface of your solar panels, then give them a gentle scrub with soapy water. Be sure to check the documentation that came with your solar panels for any additional cleaning instructions.
Step 5: Repair and Replace as Needed
If cleaning your solar panels doesn’t improve their energy output, there may be a bigger problem at hand. Solar panels are made to go the distance, but they are not infallible. Extreme weather and other events can damage them, and occasionally the technology that powers them can fail. If you can see that your solar panels have been damaged, or if your power monitoring system is indicating issues, reach out to the company that installed them originally. They will be able to help you address any issues that arise.
Solar Panel Maintenance 101 couldn’t be simpler. Buy quality products, have them installed correctly, keep your solar array clean and functional, and reach out for help if there are problems you can’t solve on your own. If you do all this, you’ll be enjoying solar power for decades. Class dismissed!
If you’re wondering how solar panels could benefit your home, your business, your wallet, or the environment, contact ArrowPoint Solar today. Our expert engineers have helped more than 1,000 homeowners and businesses in Missouri, Oklahoma, and Arkansas save money and reduce their carbon footprints by switching to solar energy. We’re proud to be the leading experts in solar and LED energy in the Ozarks. To learn more about the value of solar energy and how it could benefit you, request a free solar consultation today.