5 Ways to Properly Maintain Your Solar Panels

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Written By Charlotte Miller

The sun is the world’s most reliable renewable energy source. But it’s also one of the most unpredictable. If your solar panels can’t withstand the elements, you’re not going to get much juice out of them.

Solar panels are not entirely waterproof, but if you take some simple precautions, they can last a long time. If you want to know more, read further below. 

Inspect the panels.

Before you start any maintenance on your solar panels, it’s essential to inspect them for damage. 

Look for dents or scratches on the panel’s surface and check for leaks or cracks around the screws and connectors. If there is any damage, repair it first before further use.

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Clean the panels.

It’s essential to clean your solar panels regularly so they can absorb sunlight properly and work as well as possible. 

Use mild soap and water or a vinegar solution (1 part white vinegar to 3 parts water) to wipe down the surface of each panel.

 Be careful not to get any soap residue into the wiring or contact points on the back side of the panel, as this could damage them permanently.

Check the racking.

Racking is the metal frame that holds the solar panels in place and allows them to tilt towards the sun. If it’s not level or appropriately aligned, sunlight will hit at an angle, and not all of it will be converted into energy by your panel. 

You can adjust the angle manually or use a more advanced system that tilts as needed automatically.

Add a cover.

One of the most important things you can do for your solar panel system adds a cover. This will keep water away from the panels and help keep them clean by blocking debris like leaves and dirt from getting into the cells. 

You can buy custom covers designed for specific panel sizes and shapes or use an old tarp or blanket.

If possible, place the cover over the whole array rather than just one section. Do not expose any portion to rain or snow.

Invest in a drainage system.

If you live in an area with heavy rainfall during the winter months, ensure you install a drainage system so water doesn’t pool up on top of your panels. 

You can buy ready-made systems from companies or do it yourself with PVC pipes and fittings. If you need further assistance, you can check out https://4solarestimates.com/ for more information.

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Final Thoughts

While solar panels are certainly more efficient than they were decades ago, several factors can lead to their decreased efficiency. So if you want your solar panels to pump out energy for your home reliably, it’s a good idea to be aware of these factors and take precautions accordingly.

There are many ways to keep your solar panels clean and performing correctly. Depending on the dimensions and layout of your solar panels, you may need to employ multiple solutions.

Don’t be afraid to ask for advice from the local solar panel experts—your utility company or contractor. One thing is for sure, though weatherproofing should be a top consideration. Weatherproofing your solar panels will extend their life and keep them functioning at optimum levels.