Home Solar Panels Maintenance Checklist (Regular Cleaning Advice)

January 8, 2023

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So you finally committed to getting solar panel installation. You started by taking advantage of the local and federal incentives to help you save on panel installation. Additionally, you have managed to keep a substantial amount of money after installation through net metering. But lately, you've noticed that your solar system is not saving you as much as it used to. You may be tempted to call the electricity company to see if there is a problem with your grid-tied solar service.

However, your issue may be with the solar system itself. So instead of calling the electric company, contacting your solar company for solar maintenance may be better. What can you expect from solar maintenance service? Here is a brief info about this service and a solar panel maintenance checklist to help you understand what to expect. 

solar panel maintenance

How Often Do Solar Panels Need Maintenance? 

When you purchase solar panels, you can expect them to last over 25 years. A lifetime warranty on your solar panels may last 10  to 25 years. As with most other home appliances and electronics, your solar panels need regular maintenance for your warranty to remain intact. But how often should you get maintenance on your solar panels?

Solar panels don't require a lot of maintenance. But having them inspected at least once a year is a good idea. However, some solar companies may insist that you get maintenance two or more times a year, especially if you live in an area of the country that experiences extreme weather conditions such as hail, snow, tornadoes, and the like. Properly maintaining your solar panel system will ensure that they work well and continue to get the savings you deserve.

What Should You Expect to Pay For Solar Panel Cleaning? 

Solar panels will certainly provide you with savings over the long term. It typically takes 5 to 9 years to see the cost benefits of your solar panel installation. However, once you break even by paying off the installation cost, you will continue to enjoy a very low cost on energy bills each year.

Unfortunately, some fees are associated with solar panels, such as professional maintenance and cleaning costs. According to Forbes, you will pay between $140 and $180 for cleaning and maintenance annually on your solar panels. These may cost double if you call out a maintenance tech more than once a year. In some cases, a solar warranty may cover these expenses. But once the solar warranty is no longer valid, you will be responsible for these costs.

While it may seem that it's not necessary to incur this cost, if you want to keep your solar panels in good condition and keep savings rolling in, it is best to get this service each year. 

What Will a Technician Check For?

At this point, you may be wondering what your annual maintenance fees cover and what a technician will check for when performing this task. Solar panel maintenance is similar to HVAC maintenance. You pay a technician to come out at least once a year to ensure that all the components of your system are working properly to avoid bigger problems that could arise with your system. This small fee is a worthy investment to ensure at least 25 years of energy savings. Here is what solar technicians will look for when checking your solar system.

solar maintenance process

1. Dirt and Dust

One of the most important things a solar technician will be looking for is whether the panels are dirty. For the most part, solar panels remain clean and clear all year. However, since this is the home's roof, there are times when dirt may accumulate on your solar panels, which could slow up reception. Nevertheless, clean solar panels will allow your system to work properly well into the future. 

2. Bird Poop and Other Debris

A solar technician will also check for the presence of bird poop or other debris, such as leaves. These items can slow up solar reception by blocking the panels. Typically leaves will blow away in the wind. However, if they are mixed with mud and other gunk, they will stay stuck to your solar panels and block reception. Additionally, bird poop from pigeons that flock to solar panels may be so compact that it can block reception.

A solar technician will solve these issues by cleaning your solar panels. General cleaning will clear away all the dirt and debris accumulated on your solar panels over the year and improve solar conversion.

3. Damages

Another important thing that solar technicians will be checking for is whether the panels have damage. While solar panels are relatively strong but can be damaged by elements such as hell, high winds, or even tree limbs brushing up against them. So a technician will check the wiring and panels for cracks, discolorations, or other defects to ensure they don't interfere with the panels' performance. They will also check for things like corrosion on the panels, especially if you live in a coastal area where there is a high salt content in the air.

solar technician fixing a solar panel

4. Blockages or Interferences 

Suppose your maintenance call is not routine maintenance but rather a maintenance call related to poor performance. In that case, a solar technician will check to see if something other than the panels themselves are causing this bad reception. 

In most cases, if you are experiencing poor performance through the blocked reception, it could be because the trees surrounding your home may now be blocking your solar panels. If this is the case, you will have to contact a tree care company so that they can prune or shape your tree limbs so that they won't keep interfering with your solar.

Keep in mind that tree services aren't a part of your solar maintenance plan and may incur an additional cost that could run you a few hundred dollars.

5. Inverter Problems

Sometimes the problems that you have with your solar system may not be related to the panels themselves. For example, it may be possible that your inverter, which is the heart of your solar system, could be working improperly. The inverter is part of your solar system that sits within your home and controls energy output. If errors are showing or your inverter isn't working at all, this could be why your energy bills are increasing. A solar technician will ensure that your inverter is working properly to get optimal output.

solar energy inverter MA

What Happens If Something is Wrong With My Solar Panels?

When your solar panels are relatively new but are experiencing problems, your warranty should be able to cover most of the issues that may arise during routine maintenance. But if your solar panels are no longer under contract or the problem it is experiencing isn't covered by warranty, you will have to pay a technician to fix the problem. Or you may have to get new panels entirely.

Do you need annual maintenance on your solar system to ensure that it is working? Call Go Solar MA for solar system maintenance by dialing (617) 533-0885 today. Schedule your regular annual inspection and maintenance or any other emergency services you may need on your solar panels. One of our friendly service agents will provide you with a quote for this essential service. 

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