When Should You Schedule a Solar Panel Inspection?

June 9, 2024

Solar panels have become a popular and environmentally-friendly source of energy for many households and businesses. They offer an excellent way to reduce energy bills and lower your carbon footprint. However, to ensure the continued efficiency and longevity of your solar panel system, regular inspections are essential. In this article, we will delve into the key aspects of when and why you should schedule a solar panel inspection. We will also address important questions like “how often should solar panels be inspected?” and “how much does a solar panel inspection cost?”.

The Importance of Solar Panel InspectionsThe Importance of Solar Panel Inspections

The Importance of Solar Panel Inspections

  • Solar Panel Maintenance: Solar panels, often backed by warranties of up to 25 years, require regular maintenance to ensure their longevity and efficiency. Scheduled solar panel inspections are a key part of this maintenance, addressing issues that could impede performance.
  • Solar Battery Lifespan: The longevity of solar panels varies based on type and quality. Regular inspections are essential to detect wear and tear, preserving your investment’s lifespan.
  • Weather Conditions: Solar panels face year-round exposure to the elements, affecting their performance. Routine inspections help identify and address weather-related damage.
  • Energy Output: A noticeable decline in energy production signals the need for inspection. This decrease may result from issues like dirt accumulation or panel damage.
  • Warranty Requirements: Many solar panel warranties require regular inspections. Neglecting these inspections can void your warranty, placing responsibility for repairs or replacements on you.
  • Environmental Factors: Local conditions, such as air quality and shading, can impact solar panel efficiency. Regular inspections help ensure your panels perform optimally.

When and How to Inspect Solar Panels

The frequency and methods for inspecting solar panels can vary depending on various factors. Here’s an in-depth look at when and how to inspect your solar panels to ensure their continued efficiency and longevity:

Annual Inspections

Many experts recommend scheduling a professional inspection at least once a year. Annual inspections provide a comprehensive overview of your system’s health. During these inspections, professionals will thoroughly assess the condition of your solar panels, inverter, and electrical connections. They will also check for any signs of wear and tear, damage, or efficiency issues. By having an annual inspection, you can catch potential problems early and address them before they become more significant and costly to repair.

Seasonal Variations

In regions with extreme weather conditions, seasonal variations can significantly impact the need for solar panel inspections. It’s a good practice to schedule more frequent inspections, particularly after severe weather events like hailstorms, hurricanes, or heavy snowfall. These extreme weather conditions can lead to physical damage to the panels or the accumulation of debris. Regular post-season inspections help identify and address any damage promptly, ensuring that your solar panels remain efficient and fully operational.

Dust and Debris Accumulation

If you live in an area with a high level of dust or debris in the air, more frequent inspections may be necessary to keep your panels clean and operating at their peak efficiency. Dust and debris can accumulate on the surface of your panels over time, creating a barrier that reduces sunlight penetration. This can significantly decrease the energy output of your solar panels. Regular cleaning and inspections can ensure that your panels remain free of dirt and debris, maximizing their performance.

4. Hail and Storm Damage

Hail and storms can cause physical damage to solar panels, especially if the panels are not adequately protected. After severe weather events, it’s essential to inspect your solar panels for any signs of damage, such as cracks, chips, or shattered glass. These issues can compromise the structural integrity of your panels and reduce their efficiency. Inspecting for damage and addressing it promptly is crucial to maintaining the longevity of your solar panel system.

Pest Infestations

In some areas, birds and other pests can become a nuisance, nesting on or around solar panels or leaving droppings that can affect their performance. If you notice signs of pest infestations or damage to your panels caused by wildlife, it’s advisable to schedule an inspection. Professionals can assess the extent of the damage and implement measures to deter pests from interfering with your solar panels.

Electrical Wiring Integrity

The electrical wiring connecting your solar panels plays a vital role in the functionality of your system. Over time, wiring may become loose or damaged, leading to issues with energy production and safety concerns. Regular inspections should include a thorough check of the wiring to ensure its integrity. This ensures that your system operates efficiently and safely.

Solar panel cleaning

In addition to professional inspections, homeowners can take some basic steps to inspect their solar panels:

  • Visual Inspections: Regularly visually inspect your solar panels from the ground. Look for any signs of physical damage, such as cracks, chips, or dislodged panels.
  • Monitoring Systems: Use the data from your solar panel monitoring system. If it indicates a significant drop in energy production or irregularities in energy output, it’s a clear sign that an inspection may be needed.
  • Cleaning: Keep your solar panels clean and free of debris. Regularly clean the surface to prevent the accumulation of dirt, dust, and bird droppings.

By following these guidelines for when and how to inspect your solar panels, you can ensure that your investment continues to generate clean solar energy efficiently. These proactive measures help protect your system, extend its lifespan, and maximize cost savings.

How Much Does a Solar Panel Inspection Cost?

The cost of a solar panel inspection can vary depending on several factors, including the size and complexity of your system, your location, and the service provider you choose. On average, a basic solar panel inspection can cost anywhere from $150 to $350. More extensive inspections that involve detailed assessments of your system may cost upwards of $500.

It’s important to consider the cost of inspections as part of the overall maintenance and operational expenses of your solar panel system. While there is an upfront cost, regular inspections can save you money in the long run by preventing more significant issues and ensuring the system’s optimal performance.

The Benefits of Professional Inspection Services

Professional solar panel inspection services offer several benefits:

  • Expertise: Trained professionals have the knowledge and experience to identify issues that may go unnoticed by the untrained eye.
  • Efficiency: Inspectors can assess your system quickly and accurately, minimizing downtime.
  • Safety: Climbing onto your roof to inspect solar panels can be dangerous. Professionals have the necessary safety equipment and training to perform inspections safely.
  • Thoroughness: Professionals conduct detailed assessments, checking all components of your system to ensure everything is in working order.
  • Peace of Mind: Regular inspections provide peace of mind, knowing that your investment is well-maintained and functioning optimally.


Scheduling a solar panel inspection is a critical aspect of maintaining the efficiency and longevity of your solar panel system. Factors like weather conditions, energy output, warranty requirements, environmental factors, and inverter health all play a role in determining when inspections are necessary.

By following a recommended inspection schedule and addressing any issues promptly, you can ensure that your solar panels continue to generate clean energy and deliver long-term cost savings. Don’t wait until problems arise—schedule regular inspections to protect your solar investment and enjoy the benefits of sustainable energy production.

For more information on solar panel maintenance, installation, and cost considerations, be sure to explore our other resources at JNA.