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How to Maintain Solar Panels: Expert Tips to Optimize Renewable Energy

Are you considering solar panels to save on utility bills and make your home more sustainable? There are many different aspects to consider when making the right choice for your home. 

One important area to remember is how to maintain solar panels once installed. While solar panels have low maintenance requirements, you need to be well-versed in optimizing them to make the most of your system.

Understanding the Need for Solar Panel Maintenance

Do solar panels need maintenance? Like most things, the answer is yes, but solar panel maintenance is relatively straightforward. However, that doesn’t mean it’s something you can afford to overlook. As with any other electrical system, homeowners should understand the importance of how to maintain solar panels.

The panels themselves are sturdy and stand up to the elements very well. The smooth surface helps prevent debris accumulation, reducing maintenance requirements. Solar panels are typically installed on rooftops (although there are other options), so they’re mostly out of harm’s way.

With that said, issues can still arise. Your solar energy system has many individual parts, including the panels, inverter, other electrical components, and mounting hardware. Each has certain factors that can affect its performance, and routine solar system maintenance helps prevent problems.

Key Factors Affecting Solar Panel Performance

The performance of your solar panels relies on a variety of factors. Many issues are outside your control, such as hours of sunlight and external temperature. The latitude and altitude of your home also play a part, but there are more manageable steps to take to improve performance.

The amount of sunlight that reaches your solar panels directly impacts electrical output and is often something you can control. Avoiding shade by trimming trees or carefully choosing the right installation point makes a significant difference. Keeping your panels free of dirt and debris through regular cleaning also enhances performance.

The installation angle is also crucial. Depending on where your home is, a specific angle maximizes the amount of sunlight the panels receive. To maximize output, your panels should always face south (in the Northern Hemisphere). If your panels have shifted, you might get less energy than you should.

How Often Do Solar Panels Need Maintenance?

While it’s clear that your solar panels need effective maintenance to optimize performance, there’s still the question of how often should solar panels be cleaned. The answer will vary depending on specific factors, such as your local climate and weather.

In general, somewhere between monthly and weekly is the range to expect. If your area has plenty of rain, your panels may stay pretty clean. Dusty regions may have higher cleaning requirements.

How often do solar panels need maintenance? Regarding other parts of your solar panel maintenance checklist, such as mounting and electrical components, you might consider an annual inspection and tune-up from professional solar panel technicians.

The Benefits of Solar Panel Maintenance

Solar panels have many benefits for your home, so they’re a popular choice today. You can enjoy these perks with a professionally installed and properly maintained system.

Extending the Lifespan of Solar Panels

Your solar panels are an investment in your home. You pay to install them, and they provide ongoing returns through energy savings. The total return you receive depends on the lifespan of your panels. Knowing how to maintain solar panels can help you get the maximum lifespan out of your solar energy system.

Maximizing Energy Efficiency

A properly maintained solar energy system provides better performance, producing more electricity. Your system has a maximum capacity it can put out, but poor maintenance can reduce efficiency. If you’re wondering how often do solar panels need to be cleaned, remember that a finely tuned system guarantees maximum output and efficiency.

Lowering Utility Bills

Cost savings are one of the top reasons why homeowners choose solar panels. How much do solar panels save per month? That depends on a variety of factors, including maintenance. The more power your system produces, the more significant reduction you see in utility bills. Keeping panels clean and well-maintained helps you do just that.

How to Maintain Solar Panels

What exactly goes into solar power maintenance? You’ll have to address various areas, but luckily most of them are straightforward and not particularly time-consuming. However, some of these tasks are best left to the professionals.

Performing Regular Visual Inspections

One of the simplest things you can do to safeguard your solar panels is to examine them occasionally. In most cases, panels are installed where you can see them from the ground if you stand back from your home. Look for visible debris or displaced panels, and reach out for service if anything seems off.

Cleaning Panels Regularly

Cleaning is another critical part of solar panel maintenance. You can often use a long-handled wiper or a hose with sufficient pressure to clean them from the ground. If you wash them yourself, avoid using abrasive cleaning products or harsh chemicals that can damage the panels.

Trimming Nearby Vegetation

Branches that hang over or around your solar panels pose two distinct issues. First, they shade the panels and reduce efficiency. Second, they may snap and fall, causing damage. Keep nearby vegetation trimmed to avoid both of these problems.

Monitoring Energy Production

Your solar energy system’s output can be a good indicator of when something is wrong. Many modern solar power systems connect to an app that makes monitoring energy production easy. If your panel output drops suddenly despite having approximately the same amount of sunlight, it could be a sign that something is wrong.

Checking for Shading Issues

Is your solar energy system not living up to your expectations? Too much shade could be the issue at hand. Remember that shadows move throughout the day, so even if everything seems fine at one time, there may be shade at another. Look at your panels at different times of the day to ensure they are in the optimal position.

Cleaning Debris

Any debris that finds its way onto your solar panels should be removed as soon as possible. It can damage the panels themselves but also serves as a starting point for gathering more debris. Any dirt and grime that would usually blow off the smooth panels can get caught so that you can accumulate a real mess quickly.

Monitoring Inverter Performance

The inverter is a critical component of your solar energy system, converting DC current from the panels to AC current for residential use. Your inverter has a light that should be green if everything works properly. Red or orange during daylight hours means something is stopping electricity production and merits a closer look.

Addressing Pest Issues

The underside of solar panels and their mounting structure can create an alluring habitat for birds, rodents, insects, and other pests. They pose a risk to the panels themselves but also to your roof. If you notice pest activity around your roof, you should seek professional help.

Calling in the Professionals

Professional maintenance is likely the best option if you want the best for your solar energy system. At the very least, a thorough annual tune-up and inspection can identify issues that would have been overlooked and ensure peak performance from your panels.

Unlock Expert Solar Panel Maintenance With EMT Solar

While it takes some work to keep up with the proper maintenance of solar panels, the benefits more than justify it. Many aspects of solar panel maintenance are technical and best handled by professionals.

The team at EMT Solar provides maintenance and solar panel installation in New Jersey to deliver lasting performance. The founders created EMT Solar to provide renewable energy to protect the planet and extend saving to future generations. 

Whether you’re looking for a new system or reliable care for one you already have, you can reach out today for exceptional service from skilled technicians. Our experienced team can handle any situation!