Did you know that when solar panels become dirty, they are less efficient?
Solar panels see a 25% decrease in efficiency when they are in a highly polluted area. Harmful chemicals, dirt, and debris can quickly accumulate on your panels and prevent your system from saving you as much money.
If you want to avoid making serious errors in solar system cleaning, you need to research the most common. Read below to discover if your solar cleaning routine is going to work!
1. Skipping Routine Inspections
Inspections are essential for cleaning routines, but you don’t have to get them done each month.
If you get in the habit of skipping these inspections, damage can go unnoticed. Solar panel experts can identify cracks and vulnerable areas while they’re cleaning and help you repair them. Waiting too long will lead to more expensive replacements that could have been avoided.
Inspections give you a chance to ask an expert about any cleaning questions you have. If you’re cleaning too often or using an abrasive cloth, they can help provide you with recommendations.
2. Ignoring Instructions
If you want to ensure protection for solar panels, you need to follow their instructions.
Depending on the type of paneling you invest in, you may have to take special steps while cleaning. Some panels require weekly cleaning, while others only need it done monthly. Most instructions will direct you to use soap and water with a soft cloth.
Solar photovoltaic systems, however, are self-cleaning. Although they are more costly, they remain efficient with minimal effort. Some people hire companies to clean the panels, which can cost up to $300, depending on the debris and size.
3. Cleaning Too Often
Clean panels will help you increase energy flow, but overdoing it can impact your efficiency.
Instead of cleaning them after every storm or windy day, pay attention to the signs that panels need cleaning. If you start noticing dust accumulating in one area, focus on that and skip the parts that look clean. Cleaning the panels too often can lead to deterioration and waste a lot of time and money.
Some experts recommend only cleaning them every 6 months. The area you live in and the climate will influence your routine.
As long as you’re using a small amount of soap and water, you shouldn’t cause damage. Scraping at dirt-prone spots too often could result in you replacing them sooner than expected.
4. Using Harsh Chemicals
One of the worst mistakes homeowners make with solar panels is applying cleaning solutions.
Cleaning solutions often contain powerful ingredients and chemicals that can eat away at the panels. The chemicals can strip the weatherproofing coating and deteriorate the panels over time. Although these signs might not be immediately noticeable, they will impact the life of your panels.
Soap and water should do the trick, especially if you’re keeping up with the cleaning. Dish soap is gentle enough to keep the panels protected, but it can also cut through grease, pollen, and dirt.
5. Wiping with a Squeegee
Squeegees are often used for cleaning large windows and glass, so many people think they are suitable for solar panels.
Squeegees can increase your risk of solar panel damage since they aren’t as sensitive. When the silicone slides against the panels, it can remove the protective layers and impact your energy production.
A non-abrasive sponge or microfiber cloth are both gentle enough for panels and won’t cause scratches. Avoid leaving residue behind; if there are fibers from the material left on the panels, it can reduce its efficiency.
6. Relying on Rain
Rain might help reduce some of the dirt and debris on your panels, but you can’t rely on it.
As debris gathers, it can stack and become difficult to remove. Rain won’t effectively clean your panels and could damage the structure if gunk builds up for too long.
Another reason you don’t want to rely on the rain is that it isn’t always clean. The rain contains small particles of pollution, and the acidity levels can fluctuate. Although rain can help clean some of the top layers of dirt, it won’t be effective for the entire solar panel system.
Always check your panels after heavy storms. The wind, rain, and hail can cause damage. It’s also common for leaves and debris to get caught in the system at this time.
7. Not Knowing Enough About Panels
If you haven’t researched solar panel cleaning, you probably shouldn’t be doing it.
It’s best to hire professionals if you aren’t confident handling your panels. A lack of knowledge could lead to damaged panels that are expensive to repair. Since each system is custom-made for homes and commercial buildings, you don’t want to assume yours are just like the rest.
Learning about solar panel maintenance will be a journey. Be patient with yourself as you discover the most effective methods for cleaning and repairing small issues. You can also look online if you’ve run into a roadblock or have any questions.
While your installation team is setting up your panels, use the opportunity to learn what they know. Solar panel teams can make recommendations if you are new to the area or solar panel equipment.
Don’t Make These Errors in Solar System Cleaning
Depending on which errors in solar system cleaning you make, you may have to replace panels.
Solar panels are an expensive investment that you don’t want to replace often. With proper maintenance and a safe cleaning routine, you can trust that you’ll get your money’s worth. Don’t forget seasonal maintenance and get help from experts if you don’t feel confident handling the materials.
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