In most situations, solar panels do not require a significant amount of cleaning or maintenance. Once they are installed professionally, they operate efficiently without needing any type of tweaking or updates by the property owner. Do you have to clean solar panels? This is a common question, and the answer is that it depends on the situation. Most of the time, you do not need to invest in any significant amount of cleaning for your solar panels. That is just another of the benefits of using this type of energy – it is easy to install, use, and maintain.
Is It Worth It to Clean Your Solar Panels?
When do you have to clean solar panels? In some situations, the rain and the snow will remove any type of dust buildup on the surface of the solar panels, minimizing the need for you to have to clean them. In some situations, cleaning too frequently puts the panels at risk. You likely do not need to invest in a lot of cleaning unless you live in an area where there is a significant risk to the panels, such as environmental conditions and pollution levels. Also notable is that you should always follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Not doing so could void your warranty.
Sometimes you may need clean solar panels if:
- There is a significant amount of dust that accumulates on them: This could occur in areas where there is a lot of new construction or landscaping work being done, for example.
- Heavy pollution exists in your area: If you live in a community where the air quality is poor, dust typically is a problem inside your home and on other surfaces. It may be beneficial to clean your solar panels to remove that buildup.
- There is a limited amount of rain or snow to help with the solar panel cleaning: In areas of drought or other very dry communities, it may be necessary to brush off dust and debris from solar panels since there is not enough rain to do the work for you.
If you are not sure, take the time to inspect your solar panels. Do they have a layer of dust on them? Do they seem excessively dirty? If not, then you probably do not need to do much with them at all.
Ways to Keep Your Solar Panels Clean
Is it safe to clean solar panels? If you need to clean them, it is critical that you do so in a safe manner and follow the recommendations of the manufacturer. There could be a few ways to consider protecting them, though, that could help you. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Determine if the environment makes it necessary for you to clean your solar panels. For example, if you live in an area where there is a lot of downwind from a local airport or highway, you are likely going to need to clean them. Farms and ranches also tend to have a significant amount of dust and dirt buildup. You may also need to consider pollen. If you live in an area where there is a significant amount of pollen buildup, cleaning your solar panels becomes essential unless the rain washes it away well enough.
Soil and dirt
If you have soil and dirt buildup on your panels, consider this process for cleaning them (be sure to follow the requirements set by your manufacturer as a first step, though):
- Use a soft brush to dust off the panels. Do not use a scraper or anything that could scratch them.
- If there is still buildup on the surface, use a garden hose without a lot of pressure to rinse them off. You should not need to use soap in most cases.
- If your panels still have a significant amount of debris, consider a professional company for cleaning or a properly-sized pressure washer to do the work for you.
Does the Rain Clean My Solar Panels?
After the rain, you could have a clean solar panel. Though the amount of rain and how hard it is can impact the overall cleanliness of the solar panels, most of the time, the rain will take care of any amount of buildup of dust and debris you have. Most often, this removes about 95% of the amount of buildup from air pollution and dust, as well as pollen and other debris. However, if there are leaves stuck to it during the fall or other debris becomes lodged on the panels, that may require a bit more work to get them clean.
Remember that it is possible to clean them too often, especially if you are using the wrong methods and tools to do so. Even worse, it can be dangerous to climb on your roof. That is why there may not be a need or benefit to cleaning solar panels in most areas.
Finding the Help You Need for Your Solar Panels
If you are unsure if it is safe to clean solar panels, reach out to our team to learn more about them. Our Solar Energy World team will help you get started with solar panel installation. Give us a call to set up a free consultation to discuss your needs.