Solar energy panels have a deserved reputation for needing relatively little maintenance compared to other systems, such as furnaces or heat pumps, but they do require occasional attention. Since they have no moving parts that can become worn or break down, solar-panel maintenance typically involves making sure the units stay clean and free of dust, tree sap or bird droppings. Dirty panels can make your solar system about 7 percent less efficient, making an occasional washing necessary.
Cleaning should take place one to four times a year depending on your location. Panels in agricultural areas may collect more dust and need more frequent attention. Here are three simple steps for removing dust or dirt from your solar panels:
- Use a garden hose with a nozzle to rinse off the panels.
- Scrub the panels with a long-handled scrub brush. Use a mild cleaning solution, such as dishwashing liquid mixed with water, if the panels are especially dirty.
- Take a long-handled squeegee and wipe the panels clean.
Clean the panels in the early morning or late afternoon. Avoid washing them during the hottest portion of day, since cold water might crack very hot panels in some instances. Observe all necessary safety procedures for working on your roof, such as using a safety harness. If your roof is covered in panels and it’s difficult to find secure footing, contact a professional to do the job.
Another alternative is to invest in systems that rinse off the panels automatically by means of spray nozzles attached to the panel frames. A component on the ground holds a soap reservoir.
For more information on solar-panel maintenance and other issues related to home comfort, contact us at Aladdin Heating & Cooling. We have served southeast Michigan since 1945.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about solar-panel maintenance and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
Aladdin Heating services Novi, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Southfield, Oak Park, Ferndale, Beverly Hills, Berkley, Royal Oak, Birmingham, Bloomfield Twp., Bloomfield Hills, West Bloomfield, Madison Heights, Clawson, Sterling Heights, Warren, Troy, St. Clair Shores, Grosse Pointe, Grosse Pointe Woods, Grosse Pointe Farms, Grosse Pointe Park, Detroit, Utica, Shelby Twp., Rochester, Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, Lake Orion, Oxford, and Clarkston.
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