How Often Should I Clean My Solar Panels? Everything You Need to Know

Learn how to clean your solar panels the right way and boost their efficiency and lifespan.


If you have solar panels installed in your home or business, you may be wondering how often should you clean your solar panels, and why solar panel cleaning is important. Solar panels are a great way to generate clean and renewable energy, but they also need regular maintenance to keep them working at their best.

In this article, we will explain how solar panel cleaning can improve the efficiency and output of your system, and extend the lifespan of your panels. We will also give you some tips and tricks on how to clean your solar panels by yourself, whether on the ground or roof.


Do Solar Panels Need Cleaning?

You may wonder if solar panel cleaning is worth it, considering the time, effort, and cost involved. The answer is yes, you should clean solar panels regularly, as it can make a big difference in the performance and longevity of your system. Why? Because dirty solar panels can block the sunlight from reaching the solar cells, which lowers the efficiency and output of your system.

According to some studies, solar panels can lose up to 30% of their power generation due to dust, dirt, pollen, bird droppings, and other debris. This means that you are not getting the full benefits of your solar investment, and you are paying more for your grid electricity.

Cleaning solar panels can help you restore the optimal performance of your system, and prevent potential damage or corrosion to the panels. By keeping your solar panels clean, you can ensure that they produce the maximum amount of energy possible, and extend their lifespan. Therefore, solar panel cleaning is worth it, as it can save you money and increase your return on investment in the long run.

How Often Should You Clean Solar Panels?

The frequency of solar panel cleaning depends on several factors, such as:

  • The location and climate of your area
  • The tilt and angle of your panels
  • The type and quality of your panels
  • The amount and type of dirt and debris on your panels
  • The monitoring and maintenance of your system

As a general rule, you should clean your solar panels at least twice a year, preferably in the spring and autumn, when the sun is not too strong and the weather is not too harsh.

However, depending on your specific situation, you may need to clean your solar panels more or less often. For example, if you live in a dry or dusty area, or near a busy road, factory, or farm, you may need to clean your solar panels every month or even every week.

On the other hand, if you live in a rainy or snowy area, or have a steep roof, you may not need to clean your solar panels as often, as the precipitation and gravity can help wash away some of the dirt.

The best way to determine how often should you clean your solar panels is to monitor the performance and output of your system. You can use a solar meter, an online portal, or a mobile app to track the energy production of your solar panels, and compare it to the expected or average output.

If you notice a significant drop in power generation, it may be a sign that your solar panels need cleaning. You can also visually inspect your solar panels from the ground, and look for any signs of dirt, dust, stains, or shading on the surface.



How to Clean Solar Panels?

There are different methods and tools that you can use to clean your solar panels, depending on the size, type, and location of your system. Here are some general steps and tips that you can follow to clean your solar panels safely and effectively:

  1. Before you start cleaning, make sure to turn off your solar system, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety precautions. Do not attempt to clean your solar panels when they are hot, as this can cause thermal shock and damage the panels. Avoid cleaning your solar panels during the hottest or coldest hours of the day, and choose a mild and overcast day if possible.
  2. Use a garden hose with a spray nozzle to rinse off the loose dirt and dust from your solar panels. If you have a ground-mounted system, you can use a bucket of water instead of a hose.
  3. If your solar panels are still dirty after rinsing, you can use a soft cloth, a sponge, or a brush with a long handle to gently wipe the panels. Do not use any abrasive or metal tools, as they can scratch or dent the panels. You can also use a squeegee to remove the excess water and prevent streaks.
  4. If you need to use a cleaning solution, you can use plain water, or a mild soap or detergent that is biodegradable and non-toxic. Do not use any harsh chemicals, solvents, or alcohol, as they can damage the panels or leave a residue. Make sure to rinse off any soap or cleaner thoroughly with water, and dry the panels with a clean cloth or a squeegee.

How to Clean Solar Panels on the Roof

Cleaning solar panels on the roof can be more difficult and dangerous than cleaning ground-mounted panels. You should follow these tips and precautions when cleaning solar panels on the roof:

  1. Use proper safety equipment: When accessing the roof, secure a sturdy ladder and consider wearing a harness or using a safety rope to prevent falls. If unsure or uncomfortable, hire a professional.

  2. Avoid stepping on the panels: Walking or standing on the solar panels can cause damage. Instead, use a stable platform such as a ladder or scaffolding to reach the panels.

  3. Protect the panels and surroundings: Be mindful of the surroundings and avoid damaging the panels or any other components. Take care not to dislodge or loosen the panels while cleaning.


Should I Hire a Professional Solar Panel Cleaner?

Cleaning your solar panels by yourself can be a challenging and risky task, especially if you have a large or complex system, or if you are not experienced with working on the roof. That is why you may want to consider hiring a professional solar panel cleaner.

If you are looking for a reliable and affordable professional solar panel cleaner, you should contact the Energy Solution Centre. We are a leading solar company on the Gold Coast that offers high-quality solar panel cleaning services for residential and commercial customers. We have a team of trained and certified technicians who can clean your solar panels using the latest technology and equipment. We can also provide you with a free quote and a satisfaction guarantee. 

Here is why you should let us clean your solar panels:

  • Unparalleled Safety: Our experienced technicians are equipped to navigate even the most challenging roofs, ensuring your safety and the integrity of your solar panels.
  • Impeccable Expertise: We employ state-of-the-art cleaning methods and equipment, meticulously removing dirt, debris, and grime, leaving your solar panels sparkling clean.
  • Enhanced Performance: Experience up to a 30% boost in energy generation with our thorough cleaning, translating into significant savings on your electricity bills.
  • Peace of Mind: We conduct comprehensive inspections to identify any potential damage and ensure your solar panels are functioning optimally.
  • Unmatched Convenience: We offer a free quote, satisfaction guarantee, and flexible scheduling, making it effortless to maintain your solar panels.



Contact us today to schedule your solar panel cleaning appointment, and see the difference that we can make for your solar system.



FAQs About Solar Panel Cleaning

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about cleaning solar panels:

1. Do I need to turn off solar panels to clean?

Answer: It is recommended to turn off your solar panels before cleaning them. This is to ensure your safety and prevent any potential electrical hazards. By following the manufacturer's instructions and safety precautions, you can safely clean your solar panels without any risks.

2. Can I clean solar panels with a pressure washer?

Answer: No, it is not recommended to clean solar panels with a pressure washer. The high-pressure water from a pressure washer can damage the panels or the wiring, leading to potential malfunctions or safety hazards. It is best to use a garden hose with a spray nozzle or a bucket of water to gently rinse off the dirt and dust from your solar panels.

3. How can I prevent my solar panels from getting dirty?

Answer: There are some steps that you can take to prevent or reduce the amount of dirt and debris that accumulates on your solar panels, such as:

  • Choosing a suitable location and angle for your solar panels, where they can receive the most sunlight and the least shade or pollution.
  • Installing a protective coating or a self-cleaning film on your solar panels, which can repel dust and water, and reduce the need for cleaning.
  • Trimming any trees or branches that may drop leaves, sap, or seeds on your solar panels, or attract birds and insects.
  • Cleaning your gutters and roof regularly, to prevent any runoff or overflow from reaching your solar panels.

 

4. How much does solar panel cleaning cost?

Answer: The cost of solar panel cleaning depends on the size, type, and location of your system, as well as the frequency and method of cleaning. The average cost of solar panel cleaning ranges from $15 to $35 per panel, or $150 to $350 for a typical residential system. However, the cost can vary depending on the level of dirt and the accessibility of the panels. Some solar panel cleaning companies may charge by the hour, by the square foot, or by the project.



In Summary

Solar panel cleaning is an important part of solar system maintenance, as it can improve the efficiency and output of your system, and extend the lifespan of your panels. 

As a general guideline, it is recommended to clean your solar panels at least once or twice a year, but the frequency may vary depending on location and environmental factors. Hire a professional for thorough cleaning or follow proper cleaning methods using soft brushes, water, and mild soap.

We hope that this article has answered your questions about how often should you clean solar panels. Stay safe and reap the long-lasting benefits of your solar investment.

And if you're considering harnessing the power of the sun, Energy Solution Centre is your one-stop destination. We offer comprehensive solar panel installation services, tailored to your specific needs and requirements. Contact us today to embark on your solar journey.

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