Solar panels are one of the best investments for powering houses. Solar panels reduce
energy bills and generate clean power for up to 25 years. However, to get maximum
efficiency continuously, proper maintenance is essential.
Among various maintenance tasks, cleaning is the primary one. As dust, dirt, pollen, and
other debris accumulate on the solar panel, their ability to absorb sunlight may
Research shows dirty solar panels can lose up to 50% of their efficiency. Thankfully,
with regular cleaning and upkeep, your solar panel system will consistently operate at
This guide will provide homeowners with the best solar panel cleaning and maintenance
practices. You can follow these simple methods to protect your solar panel efficiency
and your return on investment.
Start by gathering proper solar panel cleaning supplies.
The first important step is acquiring appropriate supplies for safe and effective solar
● Extension ladder
● Garden hose with spray nozzle
● A soft brush or microfiber towel
● Spray bottle with an eco-friendly cleaner
Avoid hard brushes or harsh chemicals that could scratch the solar panel glass. Any all-
natural and biodegradable cleaner would be ideal. Check your solar panel company for
the best cleaning solutions for your specific system.
Establish a regular solar panel cleaning schedule.
The frequency at which you should clean your solar panels depends on environmental
factors like climate, weather patterns, and surrounding foliage. For example, solar
panels in desert regions likely need more frequent cleaning than in rainy climates. You
can follow the general rule of cleaning the panel at least twice yearly. Inspect panels
every 1-2 months for dirt buildup, especially after storms. Keep a maintenance log to
track solar panel efficiency and identify any dips related to debris accumulation. Adjust
your cleaning routine accordingly. Apps provided by some solar installers even send
automatic alerts when solar production declines unexpectedly. Additionally, it’s worth
exploring SEAI grants for those considering solar panel installations. SEAI grants in
Ireland offer financial incentives to support the adoption of sustainable energy
practices, making it more accessible for individuals to invest in solar technology and
contribute to a greener future
Safely access and clean solar panels
When ready to clean, turn off the solar panel system and securely position your ladder
for safe roof access. Apply a light water spray to loosen debris before wiping down
panels section-by-section with a soft brush and cleaning solution. Allow the solution to
soak for a few minutes before using a squeegee on an extended pole to rinse. Repeat
the process until all panels are cleaned.
Avoid leaning over panels or allowing cleaning solutions to dry and streak. Work safely
and never spray cold water on hot solar panels, as thermal shock can crack glass. For
hard-to-reach locations, consider hiring a professional solar panel cleaner.
Conduct annual solar panel inspections.
In addition to regular cleaning, an annual solar panel inspection can identify potential
problems before they escalate. Reputable solar panel installation companies often
include free inspections and maintenance plans with new installations. If yours does
not, you can hire an inspector for $150-$300 per visit.
During annual solar panel inspections, professionals check the following:
● Structural integrity
● Wiring connections
● Inverter functionality
● Energy output benchmarks
● Early signs of damage or wear
Address any issues detected right away. Solar panel problems tend to compound over
time, leading to more significant long-term expenses if neglected.
Maintain surrounding areas
While solar panels themselves require very little maintenance, thanks to a lack of
moving parts, keep in mind your surrounding landscape and fixtures to prevent solar
panel damage. Keep trees and shrubs trimmed back from blocking sunlight on panels.
Clear leaves, branches, and other debris from the solar installation area after storms.
Secure any loose mounting connections and ensure drainage systems flow properly
around your solar array. Poor drainage can lead to flooded equipment or soil erosion,
undermining structural posts. A single bad storm can wreak havoc if you’re not diligent.
Understand solar panel warranties.
Reputable solar companies offer strong manufacturer and installation warranties
averaging 10-25 years. Register and understand the coverage, terms, and maintenance
requirements tied to your solar panel warranty. Any damage from improper cleaning
methods, lack of maintenance, or extreme weather may not qualify for repair or
replacement assistance if deemed owner negligence.
Staying on top of periodic cleaning and annual inspections and preventing external
issues through proper landscape management demonstrate good stewardship as a
solar panel owner. This ensures your system runs efficiently for its full lifespan,
providing maximal savings on electric bills and benefiting the environment. Consider
signing up for a maintenance plan through your original solar panel installation
company for guaranteed upkeep at a fixed rate.
Investing in a quality solar energy system and staying committed to simple
maintenance provides lasting rewards for your household and the planet. Follow these
best practices for protecting solar panel performance for decades to come. Interested
in researching top solar panel installation companies in your region? Click here to
compare free quotes from reputable local providers instantly.