Don’t Forget Solar Panel Maintenance during the Spring Cleaning This Year
Spring is already in full swing, and homeowners are getting ready to tackle one of the longest traditions – the spring cleaning. According to some surveys, around 66% of US citizens participate in this tradition every year. And while dusting your furniture, vacuuming your carpets and washing your beddings is important, many homeowners neglect one important part of their home, the solar panels.
One of the major selling points for solar energy systems is that they don’t require much maintenance as they have no moving parts and don’t degrade that much. But while you don’t have to worry about maintenance too often, doesn’t mean your solar panels don’t need cleaning and inspection once in a while.
As solar panels are made from monocrystalline silicon their life expectancy is measured in decades with little loss of efficiency. The keys to your solar system’s longevity lie in skillful installation practices and occasional maintenance, both of which you can entrust to professional companies such as http://actionsolar.net/. So while you’re doing the spring cleaning, here’s what you need to remember when it comes to solar panel maintenance.
Perform a Visual Inspection
Since solar panels are placed high above the ground and away from most debris, it’s a good idea to occasionally inspect your panels for natural debris such as leaves, branches,and pollen as they can affect the panels’ efficiency. Over time, dirt will accumulate on the panels which is why you should check how clean they are once in a while. Also, if your area was recently hit by a strong hail or a storm you might want to inspect the panels to check if they’ve been damaged.
Clean the Panels
The reason why solar panels require just a little maintenance is that the rain usually takes care of all the dirt and debris on its own, especially if they are more tilted. However, if you live in an area with scarce rainfalls or if the panels accumulate a lot of dirt, you can use just water to wash it all down using a garden hose.
However, when doing so make sure not to scratch the glass as it can affect the amount of sunlight the solar cells get. That’s why you should steer clear of any abrasive cleaning products or detergents, as they are known to leave smudges. These smudges can also prevent the light from reaching the cells.
For particularly persistent stains you can use a rubbing alcohol solution and a soft cloth, and none of those specialized solar panel cleaners advertised online.
Monitor for Shade and Sunlight
Professional solar companies like Action Solar always install the panels so that they receive the maximum amount of sunlight for as long as possible during the day. However, that amount may be hindered by trees growing or the shade patterns changing, for example, if a building towering your home is installed nearby. That’s why you need to make the panel’s position is always optimal by cutting down trees or moving the solar panels where they can continue absorbing more sun.