Maintaining Your Solar Panels
The efficiency of solar panels can be affected by the accumulation of dust and debris over time, leading to decreased savings. The frequency of cleaning your solar panels depends on the weather conditions in your area.
If you live in an area with frequent storms, it is important to check your system more frequently as branches and debris can cover your panels, obstructing direct sunlight and reducing their performance. On the other hand, areas experiencing drought may face issues with dust build-up, preventing sunlight from reaching the panels. This is a common occurrence for customers in all the states we serve.
As time goes on, the build-up becomes more difficult to remove, so finding the right balance between frequent maintenance and waiting too long is crucial to ensure optimal production and avoid spending excessive time on cleaning. A general recommendation is to perform a maintenance sweep twice a year. Simply use water to wash the panels, avoiding the use of soap or detergents. For stubborn dirt or grime, cold water and a sponge can be used, but avoid using a metal brush. By performing the cleanings yourself, you only invest your time and incur the minimal risk of being on the roof. For more detailed information, check out our article on Effective Solar Panel Cleaning.
Snow can pose a separate challenge as it can completely block sunlight from reaching your solar system. Removing large amounts of snow or ice at once can be risky and potentially damage your solar equipment. If you live in an area prone to heavy snowfall, it is advisable to consult your solar panel installer to determine the best course of action—whether to shovel the snow yourself or let it melt naturally.
With a sturdy roof and high-quality mounting hardware, heavy snow is unlikely to cause damage as long as the weight remains within the safe range. While snow can weigh up to 40 lbs. per cubic foot, solar panels can hold between 50-75 lbs. per square foot.
If you’re unsure about the best cleaning methods for your panels, reach out to solar experts who have the necessary training and tools to assist you with specialized maintenance services.