Panels that are covered with an excessive amount of dirt or debris can start producing less power. The reduction in power is between 1 and 4.7 percent. According to the findings of one study, prolonged dirt buildup on solar panels can reduce the amount of electricity produced by the panels by as much as 25 percent.
The good news is that rain or snowmelt during the appropriate seasons will typically remove any dirt or bird droppings that may have accumulated. However, if there is very little precipitation in your region and the weather is often dry, windy, or dusty your panels will need to be cleaned more frequently. While some property owners feel comfortable washing the panels themselves, others choose to have a trained expert like Outdoor Keepers do the job instead.
What are the telltale signs that it's time to clean my solar panels?
Carry out a visual check once a month to check for any obvious signs of dust accumulation. In addition, you can check your electric bill or the monitoring app on your solar system to see whether there has been a decrease in production. If so, you will need to start worrying about cleaning your solar panels.
How Should I Clean My Solar Panels, and What Should I Use?
The good news is that cleaning solar panels is not a difficult task for ground-mounted systems or for some rooftop solar systems that are installed on standard homes or businesses. You typically can use a hose and a soft brush with an extended handle, similar to the kind of brush used to clean the exterior of an RV or truck. In most cases, water is sufficient; however, fingerprints, stains, or dirt that have accumulated on the glass can be removed with over-the-counter glass cleaners or with a solution consisting of 3% soap and water.
A high-pressure hose nozzle with an attachment that contains the cleaning solution could be effective in this situation if the panels are difficult to access but we highly suggest calling a professional before attempting it yourself.
You should check with your solar energy provider to find out what maintenance tasks are covered before you decide to clean the panels on your own. When it comes to many leases, the cleaning is provided at no additional cost; however, if you own the property, you need to be sure that you do not use any tools or cleaning procedures that would void the guarantee on the property.
When should I get in touch with a Qualified Professional?
You can hire a professional to clean your solar panels in the same way that you would hire someone to clean your house.
If you have a system installed on the roof of your building, it is highly recommended that you hire a professional such as Outdoor Keepers. In addition to the benefit of not having to climb up on the roof yourself, specialists like Outdoor Keepers are outfitted with the appropriate safety gear for working on rooftops. When looking to hire a professional, you should always double-check that they are both licensed and bonded in their field.
How Frequently Does Cleaning the Solar Panels Need to Be Done?
Another possibility is that nature will take care of some of the cleanings for you. However, make sure to pay close attention to either your monthly electricity bill or your monitoring system. If you observe a discernible decrease in production, it is likely time to perform a speedy cleanup or call a professional. You should only need to clean your system roughly twice each year depending on the weather and where you live.
If you live in a part of the United States that is prone to wildfires on an annual basis, such as the western part of the country, you should inspect your solar panels for ash or soot buildup as soon as possible after neighboring fires have been brought under control. They are different from ordinary dust and bird droppings; you should probably consult a trained professional to find out the most effective method for removing soot buildup from the surfaces of the devices.
How Much Does It Cost to Have a Professional Clean Your Solar Panels?
The costs involved and the amount of time necessary change depending on a number of criteria, including your zip code, the number of panels, the pitch of your roof, and the accessibility of your system.
Another is to check with your solar energy supplier to see if they can clean your panels for you or if they can recommend a firm that can do this for you.
What Kinds of Things Should I Never Do to My Solar Panels?
Try to stay away from water that is very mineral-rich or hard. Over time, it could cause damage to the panels. If the only source of water available to you is hard water from the tap, you can purchase a low-cost water-softening hose attachment that filters out minerals from the water. If neither of those options is available to you, please call a trained professional for the information you require.
Avoid getting too close to the solar panels if you are going to be utilizing a water hose that has high water pressure. Despite the fact that solar panels are exceptionally resistant to damage, you shouldn't take any chances.
Avoid using brushes, pads, or powders that have an abrasive texture. Instead, select squeegees, towels, and soft brushes to use in case you need them.
What is the most effective way for me to clean the solar panels on my roof?
Spray for windows or a solution of 3% dishwashing liquid (optional)
Squeegee or a brush with soft bristles (like those used on tucks & RVs)
If any questions, please do not hesitate to call Outdoor Keepers for your solar panel needs 650-595-3988.