The following is a guest blog by Mary Sauer and Modernize.com. If you are looking for remodeling projects to increase the value of your home, the folks at Modernize have some great ideas. Check them out!
By Mary Sauer
When you make an investment as large as installing solar panels on your home, taking the necessary steps to maintain and care for that investment is crucial. At Modernize, we encourage homeowners to pursue solar energy as a way to save on energy costs. However, what some homeowners don’t realize is that solar panels need routinely cleaned in order to continue functioning at their maximum efficiency.
Cleaning your solar panels is not a particularly complicated process. It is something you can do yourself, or you can hire someone to clean them for you. You don’t need expensive or specialty products to clean the panels—many people use warm water and dish soap to remove dirt and buildup from the surface their panels. Even though the process is not complicated, it isn’t exactly convenient—reaching every inch of the solar panels on your roof isn’t always an easy task. Because of this, we understand why this task may get put off from time to time.
Since solar panels are always exposed to the elements, they can quickly become covered with anything from dirt to bird droppings to auto emissions. Putting off cleaning your solar panel only costs your money. The efficiency of solar panels is reliant on how much of the sun’s energy can be converted into electricity. So, when parts of your solar panels are covered, those parts of your panel are useless. Experts in the solar panel industry believe dirty panels may produce a much as 25 percent less energy than regularly cleaned panels. Some brands of panels may lose as much as 30 percent efficiency when they aren’t cleaned!
In addition to decreasing the efficiency of your solar panels, neglecting to clean photovoltaic cells could shorten the life of your solar panels or even void your warranty. Check both manufacturer and installer warranties to find out how often your panels should be cleaned and if there are special instructions for cleaning your specific brand of panels.
The first step to keeping your photovoltaic cells clean is regular inspection. Without routine inspections, homeowners could overlook a problem which is decreasing the efficiency of their panels or causing damage to their roof or panels. When you check your panels regularly, you can catch these problems before they begin costing you money. Remove any obvious debris and dirt at the time of the inspection.
The next step to keep your photovoltaic cells clean is to set a cleaning routine. The widely held standard for cleaning solar panels is a minimum of one time each year. Since reaching your solar panels is the most difficult part of the cleaning process, we suggest investing in a Mr. Long Arm ProCurve® Solar Panel 2-Section kit to simplify the cleaning process.
Keeping photovoltaic cells clean is crucial the efficiency of your solar panels. With regular inspection of your panels, the adoption of a cleaning routine, and investment in affordable cleaning products, you can easily maintain the efficiency and value of the solar panels on your home.
Mary Sauer is a writer who has been published by Babble, Mom.me, and What to Expect. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and two young daughters.