Installing solar panels in your home is a good investment with many benefits. Unlike conventional energy sources, which are disastrous to the environment, solar panels are eco-friendly. Additionally, though expensive to install, solar panels can save you money in the long run. It also boosts your home’s resale value and attracts potential buyers.
However, even with all the potential benefits, your solar panels may not give you such without the appropriate maintenance practices. But with proper care, solar panels can repay their buying price within eight years and last up to 20 years. Therefore, maintenance is crucial if you want to exhaust all the benefits of solar panels. If you’re here to learn how to maintain your solar panel system, you’re in the right place. The following are top maintenance tips for caring for your solar panels.
- Ensure They Always Receive Adequate Sunshine
When solar panels are installed, they’re suitably positioned for optimal sunlight. However, this can change when trees around your home grow taller or when new buildings are being constructed around your neighborhood. Although solar panels may function in daylight, they need sunshine for maximum efficiency. Therefore, do what you can to ensure your solar panels receive sunlight. For instance, prune trees to ensure efficiency because overgrown trees bring shade to your solar panels. If your neighbor’s houses are shading your solar panels, consider relocating them so they can receive as much sunlight as possible.
Furthermore, temperature conditions can limit the sunshine your panels receive, especially during winter, as solar panels may accumulate snow. Although you may be tempted to remove the snow from the solar panels, it’s not advisable as you can scratch your panels and cause costly damage. The snow should naturally slide off after a while since the panels are installed at a steeper angle. However, if it doesn’t slide off after a few days, consider calling the experts to remove it.
- Regularly Inspect Them
Solar panels are mainly installed on top of your home, meaning it’s difficult to see their condition daily. For this reason, make it a habit to climb your house frequently to check the panel’s conditions to ensure they’re not suffering any issues. However, when climbing to inspect them, consider your safety first. Ensure you have the right equipment, such as a secure ladder and fall protection equipment. Regular inspections are necessary as they allow you to spot issues and rectify them before they become significant.
Furthermore, schedule annual professional inspections for your solar panel system. Check-ups made by qualified personnel are essential because they can handle all the issues your system may have. They perform a thorough assessment to identify problems and evaluate the condition of all electrical components in the solar panels to ensure they’re in good condition. They also perform routine maintenance concerning the manufacturer’s specifications for maximum efficiency.
- Regularly Clean Your Solar Panels
You must clean solar panels regularly to ensure optimal performance. As much as possible, solar panels should be free of dust, leaves, bird droppings, and other tree debris. Professionals recommend cleaning the solar panels at least twice a month, depending on the environmental conditions or the presence of animals, wind, or trees.
If you’re cleaning the panels yourself, use non-abrasive cleaners and a soft brush or squeegee. Be gentle when cleaning to avoid damage to the solar panels, as any damage can result in costly expenses. You can also use a horse pipe to spray water to remove dust and other debris.
However, if you’ve not cleaned your solar panels for some time and they’ve accumulated a lot of dust and debris, consider calling professional cleaners. It is because cleaning extremely dirty solar panels can be complicated, thus increasing the chances of accidental damage. However, professional cleaners have the right experience and tools to clean your solar panels safely. Furthermore, many professional cleaners are usually insured, meaning you will be compensated when damage occurs.
- Monitor Your Solar Panels Performance
One of the best ways to identify problems in your solar panel system is by evaluating its performance. A decrease in performance will automatically tell you that your solar panels are experiencing issues. You can monitor your solar performance through daily, monthly or semi-annual, and annual check-ups.
Daily check-ups entail checking your inverter to ensure its green light is on to show that the system is working efficiently. When the green light is off, refer to the user manual to identify any issues. You should also record the daily performance of your solar panel system to review its performance over time. If you can’t keep track of daily performance records, invest in modern inverters with software that records your system’s daily performance.
You should also analyze your system’s daily performance to ensure that there are no significant changes within a few months. On the other hand, annual check-ups are more detailed and substantial than daily and monthly check-ups. Annual check-ups involve inspecting your solar panel system for potential issues like corrosion, fractures, scratches, dents, and moisture penetration. It also includes checking the system’s cabling and moisture damage in switch breakers, fuse boxes, and junction boxes.
Any physical issues may also affect your solar panel’s performance. So, if any of these issues arise, ensure to get them fixed as soon as possible.
- Keep Your Solar Panels Cool
Although your solar panels are meant to absorb sunlight, they’re not supposed to get too hot, as the panels can be damaged or become less efficient. For this reason, it’s necessary to prevent your solar panels from overheating to avoid a destructive decrease in power output. You can prevent overheating by positioning your solar panels in a way that they’re partially shaded by trees during hot hours. You can also cool the panels by installing fans near them or splashing cold, clean water on the surface of the panels. You can also consider investing in self-cooling solar panels, which suck water to cool themselves.
Taking care of your solar panel system the same way you care for your car is essential. With proper maintenance, your solar panels can increase your savings, reduce your carbon footprint, and serve you for many years. By following the above tips, you can successfully maintain your solar panel system to ensure you enjoy its full benefits.