Have you wondered if you need to clean your solar panels? Well, you certainly do, and here’s why.
What causes solar panels to lose efficiency?
There are several things that can cause solar panels to lose efficiency. While some are out of your control, let’s look at the things you can avoid by simply cleaning them regularly.
Dust: A build-up of dust can affect your energy production over time. It might not have a huge impact immediately, but the longer you leave it, the more power you lose.
Leaves: If leaves get stuck on your solar panels, it blocks the sun from hitting certain parts of the panel. This decreases energy production.
Bird droppings: This is another risk if you have trees overhanging your roof. While not foolproof, choosing angled solar panels instead of flat ones may encourage the rain to wash away any debris.
How to clean your solar panels
The best way to clean your solar panels is to enlist the help of professionals. Your solar installer likely offers a panel cleaning service. You can even book them in for regular cleans, so you don’t even have to call them every single time.
However, if you like to do things for yourself, you can certainly do that. The simplest way to get the job done is with warm soapy water. However, remember to use a non-abrasive sponge so you don’t scratch the panels.
Keep away from harsh chemicals. If you’ve got bird droppings on there, for example, don’t use chemicals or a pressure washer. Just use your sponge and add a little more detergent if necessary.
As always, when climbing on your roof, make sure you take all safety precautions, such as sturdy ladders, and even a harness to prevent you from falling.
Why is cleaning your solar panels important?
While these figures will vary depending on where you live, your solar panels will lose efficiency if they’re not cleaned regularly. Let’s say you’ve just had a solar installation, and you decide you won’t clean your panels.
In 12 months, you could lose up to 20% energy production. Leave it 2 years, and you could lose up to 35%. At the end of the day, this means you’re losing money. Dirty solar panels may not produce enough energy to power your home, meaning you rely more on expensive power from the electricity retailer. Furthermore, you won’t produce excess energy that can be sold back to the main grid for a credit on your power bill.
Solar panels are an investment, so make sure you look after them, and they’ll look after you.