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7 Things to Think About Before You Install Solar Power

How to Clean and Maintain Your Solar Panels

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Solar panels can generate enough electricity to power entire homes and businesses. They are one of the most popular choices for renewable energy. One of the most appealing things about solar is that it requires minimal effort to use. You don’t have to do any heavy-duty maintenance to keep your home running.

Of course, that doesn’t mean there is nothing to be done. You should still take steps to ensure that your array remains in good working order. Most solar systems have a lifespan of 20 to 30 years. Connect Electric wants to help you keep yours working for as long as possible with the following care and maintenance tips.

  • Check Tree Growth to Prevent Shade

There may be no blockages when you install your solar panels, but that can change over time. Trees grow over the years. Their branches will reach further and eventually, one may end up along your roof. When this happens, it can cast a shadow that reduces the amount of sun exposure your panels receive. This will lower energy output.

Keep all trees trimmed back from your roof. You may need to hire a professional to handle this if your home is two stories or more or if you aren’t comfortable climbing a ladder. Removing branches also reduces the risk of storm damage.

  • Monitor Energy Production and Consumption

Many manufacturers include technology to monitor solar production and energy consumption. This can provide insight into how and when your household uses most of its electricity. It’s helpful information if you want to try to reduce consumption and increase surplus energy that can be fed to the grid for credit.

Monitoring performance will also help you identify a problem if one should arise. If you notice a sudden spike in consumption, check your wiring, electronic devices, and appliances for a problem.

  • Clean Your Solar Panels Yearly

Most solar panels should be cleaned at least once a year. This will vary depending on the environment where you live. Some places may require more frequent cleanings. Make sure you adjust your schedule accordingly based on how much dirt and debris ends up on the surface of the panels.

You should try to clean from ground level if you can. You may be able to spray water with a garden hose onto the roof to rinse the panels. If you can safely access them, then a bucket of water with a soft sponge or cloth can work as well. You do not need to clean the wiring under the panels, only the surface.

  • Schedule Maintenance During Cooler Hours

Remember to schedule maintenance during the cooler hours of the day, especially if you plan to get close to the array. The surface can become very hot in direct sunlight. It is best to work in the early morning or toward evening when the sun isn’t at its peak.

Connect Electric can help you keep your solar panels working for years. Contact us to discuss your needs or to request professional maintenance for your array.

partnered post • cc-licensed image by Eli Christman

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