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Do You Need to Clean Solar Panels? Ultimate 2022 Guide

Cleaning Of Solar Panels
Georgia Carter Updated: 03 February 2022
We may be paid when readers visit links, purchase products or services from partners.

So, you have installed your brand new solar panels. But they’re not going to look or function as though they are new forever. You’re going to need to conduct regular checks and cleaning to keep them working properly for a longer period of time. Having clean solar panels is important because dirt can impair their efficiency. If you want to protect and extend the life of this investment, then it’s still a good idea for homeowners who install them.

This article unearths how to get clean solar panels, the washing of solar panels, and what to look out for when maintaining your solar panels. Generally, it’s a good idea to compare and review solar panel cleaning products and services, and always check your warranty, before making your final choice on how to clean solar panels in your home

Key facts

  • Solar panels often get blocked or clogged with debris, dust, and bird droppings. The best solar panel cleaners are water and light soap.
  • Washing solar panels must be done when your solar panels are at a cooler temperature.
  • Cleaning solar panels on your roof can be dangerous, and sometimes you may want to call in a professional.
  • Avoid using heavy detergents to wash your solar panels. Opt for a light soap or just cool water.
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How grime affects your solar power system

The amount of dirt on solar panels usually has little effect on their performance. The Australian climate is usually enough to keep them clean due to rainfalls, which wash away most grime buildup after long periods without cleaning or hesitation in delivering power when needed, most during dry weather conditions. However, it’s still vital to regularly maintain and clean your panels. In addition to adequate rainfall, cleaning excess grime can help boost the lifespan of your solar panels over an extended period of time.

Common solar blockers

There are a few things that can block your solar panels up and cause them to be less effective. Generally, solar panels are designed and built to be durable and withstand harsh weather conditions and debris, but there are still times when little things such as dust can get in the way. Below are the three main solar blockers to look out for:

  • Dust: There are many ways solar panels lose their efficiency, with dirt being one of them. Dirt can quickly accumulate on PV modules if you live close enough to industrial complexes or construction sites due in part because they produce so much dust which gets caught up by wind currents before it has a chance at settling down onto something clean.
  • Bird Droppings: The fact that bird droppings can damage your solar panels is something you should be aware of. If one panel has been covered in a film, each inverter attached to it will show current flow interruption due to this obstruction on its screen, which could increase repair costs for homeowners who have these systems installed. Over time, the droppings with build-up, rendering your solar panel less effective and even causing damage that will need to be repaired at a later stage.
  • Leaves: Debris from surrounding trees, such as leaves and twigs, can be harmful to your solar panel. Leaves fall over time and can block the absorption section of your solar panel. When this happens, the solar cells that absorb the sunlight are hampered, and cn no longer function at full capacity. Be wary of big trees nearby, hanging over, or near your solar panels. If a larger branch were to drop on your solar panels, it could break or even crush your panel.

How to clean your solar panels

1. Review your warranty

Always remember to review your warranty before doing anything else. Some solar panels come with warranties that include regular maintenance and cleaning. Why do it yourself when you can get a professional in for free? 

2. Clean when your panels are cool

Using water and soap on your solar panels during a hot day or when the temperatures on the solar panels are high can be damaging to the panels themselves. Water poured over a hot solar panel can cause the panel to crack and even break. Always clean your solar panels on a cool day or early in the morning before the sun has fully risen. 

3. Wash with water

Every homeowner is familiar with the challenge of cleaning their roof. Not only does dust from the rains build up on your panels, but dirt from trees or other plants can also get stuck on your solar panels, causing them potential damage over time if not cleaned off regularly – which means even more money spent at home improvement stores! So why take unnecessary risks when there’s an easy solution right in front of you? A water hose hooked up conveniently next door will come through during these kinds of emergencies by rinsing away everything without compromising any warranties while saving yourself some serious cash too.

542 5420612 solar panel cleaning logo clipart

4. Use a glass cleaner if necessary

Usually, it’s recommended that you clean your solar panels with mild soap and lukewarm water. However, in circumstances where bird droppings have accumulated, or grime has built up, you can utilise a glass cleaner to get rid of the more hardy dirt. 

5. Repeat once or twice a year

Your solar panel system is an investment like a delicate machine. They need to be cleaned often to work properly and efficiently every day of the year. More pollutants may be in the air if you live near an airport or ocean. You should, therefore, clean your solar panels twice a year.

When should I call in a professional?

It’s a good idea to clean your solar panels now and then. If you find yourself overwhelmed by the task, it might be time for expert help. A professional will make sure that all of those dusty pieces are removed from around our systems – no matter how big or small they may seem at first glance. Professional solar panel cleaning services are a great investment for people who find the job too much of an effort or potentially dangerous. When you need help, our expert team will ensure that your solar power system is tidied up and cleaned efficiently so it can last longer!

What Should I Avoid Doing to My Solar Panels?

You should always avoid using metal or harsh cleaning agents when scrubbing your solar panels since they can scratch the surface and damage their performance. This could lead to a shortened lifespan for you. In addition, never clean your solar panels when they are at a high temperature or at the peak time of the day. The use of detergents is not recommended because they may streak the glass on your panels. You should also avoid using abrasive powders, which can scratch these surfaces and ruin their quality even more so than just washing with soap would do.

Frequently asked questions and answers

  • What should I clean my solar panels with?

    Use a soft, non-abrasive sponge or an old unsoiled rag to help clean your surfaces. Fill the bucket with mild soap at room temperature and keep it there for as long as possible before using more intense cleaning methods like hot water. Sometimes, just some cool water will do the trick. Be sure to clean your panels when they are cool, not hot.
  • Do I need to turn off solar panels to clean?

    Yes, shutting down your system properly will help avoid any problems during cleaning. Your user manual or inverter manufacturer’s operating instructions should be followed carefully, as this is essential for the health and safety of everyone in proximity to where you live. Ensure that all DC systems are shut down before proceeding with AC power off via Solar Supply Main Switch once everything else has been completed successfully.
  • How often should solar panels be cleaned?

    To keep your panels looking new, you’ll want to have them cleaned at least once every six months. If there isn’t much dirt on the film, of course, then one cleaning will be enough, but if not, we should recommend two or even three cleans before they say goodbye forever. If you live near the sea or in a heavily polluted area, you may want to consider regularly checking your panels and cleaning them every quarter.
  • Does cleaning solar panels improve performance?

    When it comes to your solar panels, you should never underestimate the power of a good cleaning! Over time they can lose up 15-25%. Make sure that whenever there is dust or dirt on them; You go around quickly with a vacuum cleaner and get rid of all unwanted particles immediately not to affect its functionality. The main solar blockers are dust, leaves, and bird droppings.
  • How long does it take to clean a solar panel?

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