Do Solar Panels Need To Be Cleaned?
The goal for homeowners with solar is always to optimize the conditions for maximum energy output. But every home has its own unique challenges for generating solar energy. The location, pitch of the roof, and even the direction your home faces can affect your solar system’s production. How often solar panels need to be cleaned is a concern for many who installed solar and are noticing they are not as shiny as they once were.
When you first had solar installed, you were told by your solar company that even shady conditions like trees can hamper your energy goals. This is absolutely true but even on a cloudy day the sun still provides enough light to generate some energy. Similar to shade when you have conditions like smog, dust, or dirt causing that hazy film to form on your solar panels, this will affect your system’s performance.
Knowing When To Clean Your Solar Panels
The advice often heard is to simply wait till it rains and see if your production goes up. It’s true that rain may clean most dust buildup, but in certain conditions, surface soiling caused by pollen, leaves, and even ash may not wash away in the rain. And what if you live in an area like Southern California that experiences long periods without rain. Dirty unclean solar panel systems, can see daily energy losses higher than 20%
Even the location of your roof can also play a big role in how rain affects your home’s solar system. If you live in an area with a lot of trees nearby, not only can the trees drop leaves on your rooftop, they also attract birds. Bird droppings and other airborne particulates combine into a layer of build-up that over time may cause you to see a drop in solar energy production.
Do It Yourself
Solving your energy generation issues with a garden hose could be a solution. The key is to clean your solar panels at dawn or dusk or on an overcast day when their surfaces will be somewhat cool. Solar panels get very hot in the middle of the day and if you try to clean them when they are in the heat of the day the water would instantly evaporate creating a film that requires additional cleaning steps. Even worse your panels’ glass could crack because of the extreme difference in temperature between your hot panels and the cold water coming from the hose.
You should also take care not to damage or scratch the glass in any way, this will reduce your panel’s energy production. Strong cleaning fluids should be avoided as these can streak and damage the glass. If you plan on using a pressure washer: please don’t! These high-pressure pulses of water can create scratches on the glass.
Hiring A Cleaning Service
If safety is an issue and your roof is too high or too steep to walk on, don’t take chances. Navigating a wet slippery roof can be dangerous, especially if you don’t have the correct equipment to do it safely. And if you’re concerned about buying and storing a ladder and the cleaning tools and gear involved in cleaning a home solar panel system, or just don’t want to do all the work involved in cleaning your solar panels, just hire a cleaning service. Professional solar panel cleaners are equipped to safely clean and maintain your home solar system. Remember sometimes accessing your roof is just not safe without proper gear.
Risking injury or death is just not worth it even for sparkling clean solar panels. Contact us today for a free quote if your solar panels need to be cleaned. SunPro Solar will clean your solar panels safely and if you live in an area that is prone to a lot of dust ask about our panel cleaning subscription. 951-678-7733