Your no-sweat guide to cleaning your solar panels
If you think of cleaning your solar panels as something that only people who iron their sheets and fold their socks might bother to do, it could be time to think again.
Keeping your solar panels clean can not only make your home look cleaner – it may actually help your solar panels work more effectively. Here’s how:
- Over time, dust, dirt and debris can build up on your solar panels.
- This means that less sunlight can get through to where the energy-producing magic begins inside the panels.
- Less solar energy being generated means you might be missing out on some of the cost-saving benefits of having solar panels in the first place.
Here are some tips to help you keep your solar panels in great working condition.
1. Think safety first
First of all, stay off your roof space. If you think there’s an issue with how your solar panels are operating or something which needs to be repaired, always call a licensed electrician or solar expert to help.
2. Read your manual
Check and follow the instructions provided by your solar panel manufacturer. They may have details on how – and when – to clean your solar panels.
3. Check your stats
Knowledge is power if you’re interested in learning how cleaning your solar panels may make a difference to your solar generation. Check your solar dashboard to learn how much power your system is generating before you clean – and then compare this to your generation in similar weather conditions after you’ve cleaned your panels.
4. Wash away
Follow the manufacturers' instructions on washing your panels. If washing is recommended, a garden hose with a high-pressure nozzle is usually enough to wash off the dirt, dust, leaves and salt which could have built up on your solar panels. Stay safely on the ground and position yourself where you can reach your solar panels with a spray of water. Alternatively, consult with a solar panel cleaning specialist, especially if your solar panels are hard to reach.
We recommend washing the panels in the morning or during cooler days, as panels can become incredibly hot in the sunshine.
5. Look around
The main reason for cleaning your solar panels is to ensure they convert as much of the solar energy to energy to power your home. While you’re cleaning, it’s worth looking at where your solar panels sit on your roof, and whether the surrounding trees or structures have changed since you first had your panels installed. Your solar panels will not be as effective in the shade, so consider trimming back any tree branches which might be shading your panels during the day.