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What You Need to Know about Cleaning Your Solar Panels

Posted By info@hybridenergyconcepts.com

Over the past years, solar energy solutions have become even more popular because of their many benefits. The most significant benefit is that it helps save the environment as a growing number of households become less dependent on traditional electricity. Since solar energy gets its power from the sun’s heat, this also eliminates electricity bills, which is one, if not, the biggest utility payments that homeowners pay today. 

If you’re planning to have solar power installed in your home, keep in mind that this needs maintenance, specifically its solar panels. Although the installation is a one-time process, the panels must still be cleaned as they can accumulate dirt that can compromise its energy efficiency and lifespan. Due to the rather new nature of solar solutions, many homeowners have wondered whether cleaning solar panels is necessary. The answer to this is actually simple––yes! 

Solar Panels Don’t Clean Themselves

A common misconception among many owners is that solar panels are “self-cleaning” because of the rain. However, this isn’t true. Sure, they may seem cleaner after rain because of the panel’s film, but keep in mind that rainwater isn’t clean water. As a result, your solar panels accumulate pollutants and other bacteria left by outdoor elements, which can’t be “washed away” by rainwater. In fact, rainwater adds more dirt to it than you might expect. 

Why Is Cleaning Your Solar Panels Necessary?

There are many reasons cleaning solar panels is important. For one, cleaning the panels will help them perform at optimal levels. Moreover, your solar panels come with a warranty, and if you encounter problems and want to claim your warranty, but the company sees that the panels aren’t maintained properly, you could lose the guarantee. In the end, you will need to spend more money to fix or replace your panels. 

Several reports also state that solar panels cleaning can increase energy efficiency by up to 30 to 40 per cent. Still, it’s a good idea to check the energy output before you clean the panels first to help you identify better if there’s a significant increase in your energy efficiency. After all, you may have to see this for yourself, as it might be the one thing to convince you to clean the panels regularly. 

Furthermore, keep in mind that cleaning your solar panels can help protect their life. If you want your panels to last longer than your roof, then you should spend time and effort to keep the panels clean at all times. When your solar panels are clean, they can even last up to 25 years. Imagine not having to pay electricity bills for many years to come! As a result, you can save up a lot of money and use it to improve other aspects of your home. 

How To Effectively Clean Solar Panels

Indeed, solar energy is a wonderful investment, but only if you know how to effectively take care of the panels. Otherwise, you could end up paying more just to get solar energy when you don’t maintain the panels well. So, if you think your solar panels are clean because of the previous storm, you may want to think again. 

Here’s the thing with cleaning solar panels—you can do them on your own, yet you need to take safety precautions first. Consider the following details about solar panel cleaning: 

  • Check the manufacturer’s directions for cleaning: Before you do any cleaning to your solar panels, you need to check the manufacturer’s specific instructions first. If there’s nothing, then be sure to contact them directly and ask about specific steps. However, if there are no special instructions given, you can then proceed with cleaning the panels. Of course, some research on your end wouldn’t hurt because you want to ensure that you’re doing this safely and not cause damage to the panels or you. 
  • Clean in the morning or later in the night: If you plan to clean your solar panels in the morning, then you should do it before the sun rises. You don’t want to clean solar panels that are heated up from the sun, right? If you don’t have time during the day, then later at night is still possible, but make sure to have adequate lighting so that you can see what you’re doing! 
  • Use a garden hose: Yes, cleaning the solar panels is easy, all you need is a garden hose, and you’re good to go. However, there’s more to “just water” that you need to keep in mind as well. 
  • Use a cleaning solution: Using a cleaning solution or soap will be a great way to clean your solar panels. Although it’s tempting to hose it down with water alone, you can scrub the panels a bit with soapy water to give it a more thorough wash. 

The process of cleaning solar panels is straightforward. However, what makes it challenging is having to climb and clean it while you’re on the roof. This is why some homeowners prefer to hire professionals to do it for them. If you’re not confident in cleaning the solar panels on your own, it’s best to hire an expert to perform the job as they have years of experience in the industry and you won’t have to compromise your safety. 

How Many Times Should You Clean The Solar Panels?

The frequency of solar panel cleaning will ultimately depend on where you live and what your panels are exposed to. For example, if you live in an area that experiences little rainfall for months, then your panels will likely accumulate more dirt. Because of this, you need to have it cleaned more frequently. At the same time, many manufacturers recommend cleaning the panels at least twice a year. 

How Do You Know If It’s Time To Clean The Panels?

The best way to know if your panels need cleaning is to keep an eye on the amount of power it produces. When you notice a significant reduction in efficiency, this likely means that the panels are dirty and they need immediate cleaning! 

Conclusion

Solar energy solutions have risen in demand over the past years. As mentioned, you will be able to save lots of money because you won’t spend much on energy bills, and you can improve your house in other ways as well.

If you haven’t gone solar, then it’s time you do. Hybrid Energy Concepts is a reliable solar energy company in Victoria that customises a solar system to meet your budget’s daily energy needs. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help!