October 3, 2022
Two questions we frequently get from consumers are how to properly clean your solar panels and whether or not you can do it yourself. The main dos and don’ts for cleaning your panels are listed in the following instructions. While cleaning the panels on occasion is good practice, if done incorrectly, you run the risk of harming the panels or possibly voiding your warranty.
It’s important to note that your panels contain an anti-cling layer, which means that in an area with frequent rain, they will mostly self-clean. However, if your roof is flat or has a pitch of fewer than 5 degrees, cleaning your panels will be necessary from time to time. Additionally, you should promptly wash your panels after any wildfires. Ash from fires can significantly reduce the efficiency of solar energy systems by up to 25% and even endanger the system through overheating.
On hot days, however, you shouldn’t clean your panels since the difference in temperature between the panel surface and the water could result in a crack in the panel. Choose the appropriate time to begin cleaning, we suggest early evening or late afternoon, before you carry out any of the actions below.
This should be the only thing you need to do to clean and preserve your panels 90% of the time. Hosing down panels from the ground once every few months is a good idea because dust can accumulate on them and cause them to heat up more and perform less efficiently.
Any debris that may fall on your panels, such as leaves, rocks, or other objects, could result in shadowing or black areas, which would increase heat and reduce efficiency. Therefore, it is a good idea to keep an eye out for these while washing your panels from ground level. If you can wash them away with the water from the hose.
A small amount of soapy water might be used to remove stubborn stains or dust buildup if the hose isn’t doing the job. If possible, we advise using a squeegee with a long enough handle to allow you to perform this task from the ground up. Otherwise, only ascend to the roof if it is secure.
Also Read: How Long Does it Take to Get a Solar Permit?
A regular hose should be more than adequate for washing your panels; high-pressure washers are not required. High-pressure washers risk generating microfractures in the panel’s glass, which can be very harmful to the performance of your panels. Using a pressure washer can potentially void your warranty because many manufacturers forbid it.
Your main priority should always be your safety. You could get significant injuries if you were to fall off your roof while going to clean or inspect the panels. We, therefore, advise against climbing onto your roof unless you are certain you can do it safely; leave that to experts instead.
All of the aforementioned things have the potential to scratch, cloud, or harm your panels’ glass front. Reducing the clarity of your panels can also diminish their efficiency. It is preferable to arrange a health check so that our service personnel may safely clean the debris away if soapy water isn’t working.
The best method to maintain the condition of your panels is through a yearly service health check. You should occasionally wash them with your hose to keep them clean, but for more major maintenance, contact your solar provider to arrange for service professionals to come out.
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