The average price of solar panels ranges between $16,000 and $24,000. Of course, this estimate can vary depending on your location and the type of panels you decide to install.
Whether you spend $16,000 or $24,000, one thing is true. You want to take care of your investment by avoiding common mistakes with solar system maintenance.
The rain isn’t enough to clear dirt and debris from your panels. You have to clean them yourself using the right products and equipment. Before you get started, you’ll need to turn the power to your system off and make sure you dry your panels thoroughly when you’re done.
Are you ready to get started? Check out this guide to learn what should go into your solar maintenance routine.
1. Using the Wrong Cleaners and Equipment
You have to use specific products when it comes to cleaning solar panels. If you try to use household soaps, you’ll strip the protective layer on the panels and leave them vulnerable to the elements.
If you’re cleaning regular roofing tiles, using a powerwasher is fine. You cannot use one on your solar system. The pressure can damage the seals on the panels and cause leaks.
If you use abrasive materials to scrub your panels, you may scratch their surface and make them less effective. Instead, stick to a soft cloth.
2. Assuming Rain Is Enough
Having a residential solar system doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. That doesn’t mean you can leave your panels alone without checking on them every now and again.
If you don’t clean your panels, dirt and mud will form and scratch them up. Depending on how much debris you’re dealing with, you may have to call in the professionals because a hose won’t be enough.
3. Neglecting Panel Inspection
As stated above, solar panels need regular attention. Part of that involves inspecting your system.
If you’re not receiving enough power to run your home or you’re having a lot of power interruptions, you may want to reach out to someone at Blue Raven Solar for help. You could do more harm than good if you try repairing solar panel damage on your own.
4. Scrubbing Too Hard
Again, when cleaning your solar panels, use a soft cloth. Abrasive products like brushes will scratch the surface of your panels and cause problems.
If you’re dealing with a particularly stubborn patch of dirt, you can apply a little elbow grease, but don’t overdo it. If you scrub too hard, you could cause some serious damage.
5. Cleaning in Direct Sunlight
Clean your solar panels late in the evening or early in the morning before the temperature gets too high. If you wash your panels during the hottest parts of the day, the water will evaporate before you have the chance to do any actual cleaning.
The chemicals in the soap can leave residue on your panels and make them less effective. There’s also the fact that your panels are at their most productive during hot parts of the day. Cleaning them would get in the way of their production.
6. Not Turning the Power Off
Before you clean your panels, you’ll have to shut off the power to the system. By that we mean you have to disconnect all your appliances from the grid. If you don’t perform this crucial step, you could end up electrocuting yourself.
Be sure to schedule your cleaning ahead of time so you can let your family know the power is about to go out. You wouldn’t want to interrupt someone’s important work-related Zoom meeting.
7. Leaving Too Much Moisture Behind
After you’ve finished cleaning, you must dry your panels. If you don’t, pools of water can cause spots, which will get in the way of system productivity.
If water manages to get between the panels, it could lead to rusting. You can use a squeegee to rid your panels of large amounts of water and go behind it with a cloth.
8. Not Protecting Your Panels From the Elements
You should cover your panels when they’re not in use. They are built to withstand most types of weather, but that doesn’t mean you should take unnecessary risks.
Keeping your panels covered with a tarp will increase their lifespan and reduce your solar maintenance costs.
9. Not Wearing the Right Clothes
Don’t clean your solar panels while wearing short sleeves and a pair of flip-flops. Doing so will increase your chances of getting harsh chemicals on your skin or slipping off the roof.
Putting on a pair of closed-toed shoes will also prevent you from scraping your foot on something sharp.
10. Failing to Use Your Ladder Safely
If your solar panels are on your roof, you’ll need to use a ladder to get to them. Be sure to use proper safety procedures when making your climb.
Don’t stand on the top rung of the ladder or lean too far. Ask a friend to remain on the ground and hold the ladder to keep it sturdy while you work.
Installing solar panels will cost you thousands of dollars, no matter what system you choose or the location you live in. Protect your investment by avoiding mistakes with solar system maintenance.
Be sure to pick up the right soap, don’t use a brush, and don’t scrub your panels too hard. If you’re worried about damaging your system, call a professional over to take care of the job for you.
For more solar panel tips and tricks, visit the Home Improvement section of our blog.