Top 3 things you need to know about solar panel cleaning

Posted in Saving with solar

Person cleaning solar panels

One of the great things about solar panels is that they require relatively little maintenance. However, depending on where you live and your solar panel set up, most solar panels will benefit from a clean once a year or so.


Why is solar panel cleaning important?

Solar panels are generally self-cleaning, however dust, oils and bird poo can build up over time and impact the amount of energy you can produce. 

While it’s unlikely to have a major impact in the short term, solar panels are most efficient when they’re directly exposed to sunlight. A build-up of dirt will obstruct this and over time, could reduce the effectiveness of your solar panels.  


How often should I clean my solar panels?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to solar panel cleaning. Once a year is a good benchmark to start at, however the location and panel tilt will both influence whether you’ll need to clean your solar panels more or less often. 

For example, solar panels in dry areas usually need more cleaning as they receive less rain to clean the panels. Similarly, the closer you live to a busy roadway, the more dirt and grime will build up on your panels so the more you’ll need to clean them. 

Most solar panels are installed on a tilt, however if you have flat (or nearly flat) solar panels the rain won’t wash off dirt as effectively – you’ll probably need to clean them yourself more often. 


How do I clean my solar panels?

When it comes to solar panel cleaning, the safest way to do it is from the ground. If possible, use a long-handled sponge or mop to clean your panels with clean water (you could also use a mild detergent if you like). 

Sometimes simply spraying your panels with a hose will do the trick (but don’t use a pressure washer as you risk damaging them).

Don’t get on your roof if you don’t feel comfortable. If you can’t reach your panels from the ground, you might consider paying a professional to wash your solar panels for you.


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