Residential solar panel systems can last well over 20 years, reducing carbon emissions, increasing home value, and potentially reducing (or even eliminating) energy expenses. But while switching to solar energy is worth the investment, many homeowners miss out on peak efficiency and the longest lifespan by neglecting to maintain them.
While solar panel maintenance generally doesn’t require complex or rigorous work, it’s important to know how to take care of them nonetheless. In this guide from Gexa Energy, you’ll learn how to get the most out of your solar panels with the best cleaning and maintenance tips.
Learn more: What is solar energy?
What Does Solar Panel Maintenance Involve?
Thankfully, modern photovoltaic (PV) solar panel systems are built to last up to 30 years or longer with minimal maintenance. In most cases, solar panels produce energy and work properly for decades without needing repairs.
Related: Learn how solar panels work
Cleaning Solar Panels
The most common way to keep your solar panels running smoothly is with occasional cleanings. Over time, dirt and debris accumulate on solar panels, which can impact their ability to absorb sunlight. By removing debris, you ensure the most sunlight possible reaches your solar panels, resulting in optimal energy efficiency. Clean solar panels are efficient solar panels!
Solar Panel Inspections
If you want to catch more serious problems before they get worse, it may be a good idea to get your solar panel system inspected on a yearly basis. By having a professional take a look at your panels once a year, you can have peace of mind that everything is working properly.
Solar Panel Repairs and Replacements
Sometimes, a technical issue or physical damage may occur. If you notice your panels are losing efficiency, you may be able to get a repair or replacement under the performance warranty from the installer. On the other hand, physical damage is often covered under a different equipment warranty.
What Is the Best Way to Clean Solar Panels?
If your solar panels are installed on a slope, rainfall will do some cleaning for you. Rain will clear most debris that collects on your panels. However, you’ll need to clean them manually during dry seasons and after heavy snowfalls.
Solar panels should generally be cleaned at least twice a year, using a leaf blower or garden hose with cold water to wash away the debris. After a snowfall, you may need to use a squeegee to clean the panels.
Avoid using hot water to clean your solar panels, especially during winter. Tempered glass can crack when exposed to extreme temperature disparities.
Signs Your Solar Panels Need Maintenance
While most solar panels only require occasional cleanings and regular inspections, it’s a good idea to know the signs that something needs repairing. The main red flag that your panels require maintenance is a reduction in energy production. If your energy costs are going up and your panels aren’t producing as much energy as before, you may need to schedule a service appointment.
Solar Panel Maintenance Cost
Many Texas homeowners hire a professional to inspect and clean their solar panels. This is especially a good idea if you don’t feel safe or knowledgeable about checking the panels yourself.
In most instances, solar panel maintenance should cost no more than $500 each year. However, damage or heavy accumulation of debris may make these prices go up.
Some solar providers offer additional service plans or include maintenance visits in the cost of purchase.
Generally speaking, solar panels are worth it and require little-to-no maintenance.
Solar Panel Warranties for Maintenance and Repair
Solar panel warranties generally range from 10-25 years. These warranties tend to cover performance problems and unexpected damage. For example, if your panels fall below a particular performance level, some warranties may allow for a replacement or repair. Storms, fires, and other events outside of your control are also often covered.
Final Thoughts on Solar Panel Maintenance
For the most part, keeping your solar panels clean and working properly is fairly easy. If you see dirt, debris, snow, or even dust piling up, a quick spray down will keep them up and running. Whenever you purchase solar panels, make sure they come with a sufficient warranty.
Gexa Energy offers 100% renewable plans from environmentally friendly renewable sources for Texas residents, including solar plans. Explore Gexa Energy solar plans today.