Now that you have solar panels installed on your roof, you are well on your way to enjoying a bright future of energy savings. But how can you protect your new investment? Solar panels require very little maintenance, but there are some simple things you can do to make sure they last as long as possible. If you want to keep your solar panels working in top form, then read on to learn some essentials for proper solar panel maintenance.
ENSURE THAT YOUR SOLAR PANELS ARE PROPERLY INSTALLED
Making sure that the solar panels are set properly on the roof can help to prevent problems from cropping up later on. When solar panels aren’t attached correctly, they can cause damage to your home’s roofing system. Your roof does the hard work of protecting your home from the elements, so it’s essential that it stays in good working order. Otherwise, you can experience issues with roof leaks, water damage, and reduced energy efficiency.
Therefore, the best option is to hire a professional to install them instead of doing it yourself. Roofing contractors tend to have an advantage because they understand how roofs and solar panels work together. Take time to inspect your roof to ensure that your solar panel system has been set up for success.
PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO SHADE AND SUNLIGHT
As you would expect, solar panels should always be placed in locations on your roof that receive the strongest sunlight. Ideally, this should be a location that faces south since that’s where the sun is at its highest point in the sky. Your solar contractor will pay special attention to solar panel placement, but a lot can change over the coming years. New construction and tree growth near your home could affect the amount of sun your home receives. In the coming years, keep an eye on how much sun and shade your panels receive.
CLEAN YOUR SOLAR PANELS ON A REGULAR BASIS
If you don’t clean your solar panels, debris is likely to accumulate on them. This will result in significantly reduced energy output. Leaves and bird feces are likely to build up over time, which can be removed during cleaning. Luckily, cleaning your solar panels is easy to do.
During warm months, you can typically use your garden hose to spray the panels or a leaf blow to blow away debris. If you experience snowfall, then you will want to use lukewarm water to clear the snow away. Mixing hot water with cold solar panels is a recipe for disaster, so make sure that the water you use is never too hot. You should also stay away from abrasive cleaning products that could cause damage or leave residue behind.
PROTECT YOUR SOLAR PANELS FROM STORM DAMAGE
Storm damage can wreak havoc on your roof, which now includes the solar panels you installed. As a result, regular monitoring of the condition of your roof is essential—especially after a storm. Solar panels were engineered with durability in mind, but they are not indestructible.
Highly localized events can occur that could cause damage to your solar panels, such as lightning, hurricanes, and hail. Small twigs, leaves, and other debris often litters roofs after a high wind event. Therefore, if you experience substantial winds, it’s essential to clean the solar panels immediately afterwards in order to ensure that they are not blocked by debris.
Extreme heat can also affect the energy-efficiency of your solar panel system. To keep energy performance up, it’s important that solar panels are installed with proper air circulation. This will help to keep them cool as temperatures rise.
TRACK HOW YOUR SOLAR PANELS PERFORM
In order to make sure that your solar panel system is cost effective, keep track of the system’s performance. The best way to do this is to attach a digital monitoring system to your home setup. These monitoring systems track how well your solar panels maintain efficiency during their lifetime.
Some programs allow you to create charts, graphs, and tables to ensure that you’re successfully optimizing your solar panels to produce cost-effective amounts of electricity. These monitoring systems can also work to alert you to damage, so you can have them repaired or replaced in a timely manner.
For solar panels to work as efficiently as possible, they need to be installed correctly and thoughtfully maintained over the coming years. Maintenance is simple when you know what to do. Follow the tips above to simplify maintenance and keep your solar panels working at peak efficiency. That way, you can enjoy energy savings for many years to come.