How Often Do Solar Panels Need Maintenance?
With the price of nonrenewable energy skyrocketing in recent years, solar panels might just be the answer. Good quality solar panels are durable and reliable long-term investments, and they often come with generous warranties to boot. However, you’ll only be able to get the full value out of your solar panels if you take good care of them.
If you’re wondering how often solar panels need maintenance, or what’s included in solar panel maintenance, let’s review:
- The types of solar panel maintenance (cleaning, inspection, repairs)
- Factors that impact your solar panel maintenance schedule
- How to make the most of your solar warranties
With some practical tips and guidance, you’ll be empowered to make the most of your solar investment.
Are you thinking about installing solar panels? Get a free custom estimate by contacting Photon Brothers at 720-370-3344 (Colorado) or 805-351-3371 (California). We pride ourselves on our 5-star quality service and are more than happy to design a custom solar system that meets your precise needs.
Want an instant estimate? Click below to use our free solar calculator!
Types of Solar Panel Maintenance
Maintaining your solar panels primarily consists of cleaning them as needed and scheduling routine inspections. If you’ve noticed any trouble with your solar panels, you should also call a professional to check it out sooner rather than later. The one type of maintenance you might perform on your own is cleaning, which can boost efficiency by clearing off dust and grime that can collect over time. The one complicating factor is that solar panels are usually on people’s roofs, making access an issue. If you’re like most people and have roof-mounted solar panels but don’t have trades experience, entrust it to a professional.
In areas with mild weather, it’s okay to clean your solar panels as little as twice a year. However, many climates are more conducive to dust buildup and may require cleaning on a seasonal basis. For instance, dry areas that receive little rain will have some of the worst problems with dust. Severe storms and heavy winds can also deposit dirt and grime onto your solar panels, so if you notice reduced output, you’ll want to clean after adverse weather too.
Once a year, you should bring in a specialist to inspect your solar panels. After examining them, the inspector can tell you if everything is in top condition or if there’s anything needing repair or replacement. This preventative maintenance is especially important because solar panel warranties often include regular check-ups as a condition for coverage.
Even well-maintained systems can break or underperform for reasons that aren’t immediately clear. You shouldn’t be dealing with issues like this often if you’re maintaining your panels properly. That said, you should call a solar panel expert if your panels simply don’t seem to be working properly. There’s no schedule for this sort of reactive maintenance since you can’t plan for unexpected malfunctions.
Factors That Impact Your Solar Panel Maintenance Schedule
Cleaning twice a year and scheduling an expert inspection once a year are good baselines for maintaining your solar panels. However, certain circumstances might mean that your solar panels will need maintenance more often.
Good solar panels are meant to handle all typical weather, and can even shrug off expected levels of hail without any need for repair. That said, abnormal hail storms with extremely large pellets of hail have been known to damage solar panels. Solar panels are also meant to withstand hurricane-force winds, with many models being rated to withstand winds of more than 140 mph. That said, repeated impacts from heavy debris can potentially cause damage. Compare the conditions in your area to the weather ratings of your solar panels to decide whether or not to arrange an inspection.
The Quality of Your Solar Panels
Cheaper solar panels will be more prone to failure and less sturdy and robust than better-quality models. Even if the cost is higher up-front, you may be able to save in the long-term by buying better solar panels to start with. If you do opt for lower-cost solar panels, be prepared to schedule inspections more frequently.
Professional installation is a must to keep your solar panels secure against the elements and maximize their lifespan. Poor installation can result in panels coming loose or create leaks in your roof. Trusting a certified professional with your solar panel installation can prevent these issues and save you from dealing with unnecessary repair and maintenance costs in the future.
Make the Most of Your Solar Panel Warranty
Solar panel warranties vary widely from one manufacturer to the next. While 10-year warranties are relatively common, some manufacturers will guarantee their solar panels for 25 years (like those offered by Photon Brothers).
Besides length, the other important factors in your solar panel warranty are performance level guarantees and the conditions you need to fulfill.
The performance level of your solar panel refers to how efficiently it converts sunlight into electricity. If your panel drops below that rating while covered under warranty, the manufacturer will cover maintenance and repairs in line with their guarantees. However, they’ll only step in if you’ve done your part and fulfilled your obligations under the warranty. This often means proving that you’ve maintained your solar panels up to their standards, with inspections and maintenance taking place at a certain frequency. The exact terms vary depending on the warranty, so make sure to read the terms surrounding your own warranty.
Solar panels can be a great investment that save money over the long term, not to mention that they can take the sting out of rising energy costs. Knowing your way around solar panel maintenance and staying on the right side of your warranty conditions are the best way to make the most of your investment.
Get a Free Solar Estimate!
At Photon Brothers, we have over 10 years of experience helping California and Colorado homeowners make the switch to renewable solar energy. Schedule a free custom estimate with our team of friendly, knowledgeable solar professionals and we’ll help you find the right system for your needs and budget. Our goal is to help you save as much money as possible!
Want an instant quote? Click below to use our online solar calculator.