15 March, 2023 < 1 MIN READ

Solar Panel Maintenance Guide

If you’re a homeowner who has invested in solar or considering it, we’ve got you covered on all things regarding solar panel maintenance. Solar panel systems generally don’t need much maintenance over their lifetime. In this guide, we’ll walk through how to properly maintain your solar panels throughout their life cycle so that they remain efficient and operational for years to come. 

What type of maintenance is required for solar panels?

As stated above, solar panels generally require very little maintenance to function properly. The main necessary cleaning is light cleaning to make sure first, leaves and other debris aren’t obstructing the sun. More extensive maintenance may be required during periods of heavy snowfall in order to have solar panels perform as intended. 


How Often Should I Clean My Solar Panels?

How often you need to clean your panels will vary depending on their slope and the amount of rain and dust you get. Generally, manufacturers recommend two to four times annually for optimal performance. That said, there’s always potential for customizing that number based on the particular conditions in your area. 

While this may seem like a lot, the good news is that when it comes time to clean your panels it doesn’t require much work. All that’s needed is a leaf blower or garden hose, and your panels will be in top condition. 

If you’re unsure if maintenance is required on your system, keep an eye on the system’s performance on your monitoring system periodically and dig deeper if it drops suddenly. 


How Do Weather Elements Impact Solar Panels?

We’ve mentioned the possibility of heavy snowfall and its impact on your solar system, and the overall idea to keep in mind is that solar panels are designed to be durable. High quality panels are built to withstand wind, snow, and all kinds of weather conditions. 

While solar panels are incredibly strong and resilient, extreme weather conditions can cause damage or destruction. If hail, hurricanes or tornadoes strike your home you’ll want to have a good warranty in place so any damage can be quickly repaired or replaced. 


What are best practices for solar panel inspection?

In addition to the 2-4 inspections annually, keep your solar panel system running at peak performance with a monthly visual inspection. Look out for any dirt, debris, tree branches or leaves that may have settled and could potentially disrupt the system. 

To maintain the highest level of performance and safety for your solar panels, it’s recommended to have a professional inspect them at least once annually. An inspector or local installation company can check damages unseen by the naked eye as well as ensure all fasteners and wiring is in order so that you know you’re safely harnessing power from the sun year-round. 


How Do I Clean My Solar Panel System?

Ensure that your solar panel system is powered off before beginning any maintenance and cleaning. To give it a good once-over, start by spraying them down with lukewarm water from the garden hose. This should remove most of the accumulated dirt pile up. Refrain from using commercial cleaners or harsh soaps as they can leave streaks and damage sensitive panels. Instead, opt for wiping away heavier deposits with soft microfiber cloths. 


Why Is Monitoring Important?

Keeping a close eye on your electricity bill can be the difference between functioning and faltering solar systems. Anomalies in energy bills such as skyrocketing bills, outdated software or sudden dips in performance may mean it’s time to dig into further investigation. A monitoring system allows you to monitor damage to your system before it becomes too severe, as well as signals it’s time to clean your panels if output is under usual efficiency. In addition, monitoring the output of your system following a panel cleaning will help you determine if the cleaning has made a difference in efficiency, or if more work is needed. 


How much does it cost to maintain solar panels? 

The national average cost for routine solar panel maintenance is between $140 and $180, but warranties cover the expense of many services. 


What is the lifespan of most solar panels? 

Solar panels are made to last for 25-30 years on average, particularly if they are properly maintained throughout their lifespan. 


Can I pressure wash solar panels? 

It’s best to avoid using a pressure washer when it comes to cleaning your solar panels. That level of force may damage the system or surface of your panels.