How Much Maintenance Does a Residential Solar Energy System Need?
We are often asked if solar PV panels are high maintenance. Generally speaking, they are not. Not only are they remarkably durable, you will also not have to spend much time maintaining them. Generally, they will continue to produce free, clean electricity for the duration of their lifespan (25 years on average).
However, while solar panels are relatively low maintenance, this does not mean that you can ignore them. Keep reading to learn more about keeping your solar panels in good condition.
How You Can Prolong the Life of Your Solar Panels
Prolonging the life of your solar panels is as simple as keeping them well-maintained. The best way to do this is to keep them clean and debris-free. If leaves and dirt build up on the panels, they won't work as efficiently. Furthermore, this buildup can cause damage to the panels if ignored. We recommend you visually inspect your solar panels every so often or after a major weather event.
If you notice leaves, branches or other debris building up on or around the panels, we recommend that you carefully remove it. If excess dirt or other substances are on your panels, you can gently clean them with water and a soft sponge or washcloth. If you can't get them clean with just water, you can try a very gentle dish detergent and a soft-bristled brush.
Most solar panel systems only need to be cleaned once or twice a year.
When You Need Professional Maintenance
There are generally two situations where you need to schedule professional service for your solar panels. The first is for a routine, yearly inspection and maintenance. Regular maintenance is crucial to keeping your solar panels in good shape and working efficiently.
Around the same time every year, you should schedule an inspection with Valley Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Solar. At this appointment, our solar panel system inspectors will review your panels and test them to ensure they are working efficiently and that there are no problems. If we notice any signs of wear or any issues, we will provide you with a full report and all of your repair options.
The other time you should call for professional maintenance is when you notice a repair problem or issues with your system.
Signs Your Solar Panels Need Repairs
Because solar panel systems are so low-maintenance and incredibly reliable, many people ask us how you even know when your solar panel system needs help from a professional. This is a great question! A good rule of thumb is that any time you notice an issue or have a question about something, you should give us a call. As a homeowner, you know your system and if something seems up or you are unsure, trust your intuition. We are always here to help you.
Other signs that your solar panel system may need professional maintenance:
- Your power output has decreased without explanation
- You see error messages on your inverter
- You are experiencing unexpected shutdowns
- You see signs of damage on your panels
Contact Valley for guidance if you notice any of these problems or have another issue with your solar panel system.
Keeping Cool This Summer at Valley
At Valley, we are focused on keeping cool and enjoying our summer. First, we answer the question of whether you should purchase a portable air conditioner to help improve the comfort of your home. While this may seem like a good idea, there are a few things that we think you should consider. Additionally, if you are purchasing a portable air conditioner because of issues with your existing cooling system, there may be better options. We recommend you speak with one of our cooling specialists before purchasing a portable AC.
Another option to consider this summer is whether or not you should install a whole-house fan. These fans can be incredibly helpful in keeping your home cool. They can also support your HVAC system and ultimately reduce your energy costs without sacrificing your comfort. However, you always want to speak with one of our HVAC specialists before making the investment. We can help you determine if a whole-house fan will benefit you.