Solar panels are a great way to conserve energy and decrease your carbon footprint. They work by harvesting the sun’s power and converting it into usable electricity. Solar panels are a great investment, but they need upkeep to stay in good condition and work efficiently. Here’s what you need to know about keeping your panels clean and how that will help them last longer.
- Clean Your Water System
First of all, if you have solar panels on your roof, make sure your water system is cleaned out, including any pipes or other components inside your house. This can be done with a soft brush or even a piece of sandpaper. It’s also important to use cleaner than usual tap water for this process, as chlorine and minerals may build up over time.
- Use an Air Filter
An air filter can increase efficiency by reducing dust particles from entering your paneling and damaging the silicon cells. Depending on your climate, this should be changed every few months (if not every month). If possible, opt for high-quality HEPA filters, which remove at least 99% of airborne particulates down to.3 microns. A typical air conditioning unit may include one as part of its replacement schedule.
- Protect Your Silicone Cells
Since silicone cells absorb direct sunlight — sometimes causing overheating and damage — it’s essential to protect them. The easiest way to do this is to cover your panels with a tarp during the hottest times of the day when you know the sun is most intense. You could also place boards across the panels to shade them. Remember that covering them too much could reduce their effectiveness, so experiment until you find the right balance between protection and usability.
- Clean Your Electrical System
You might think that you don’t need to worry about cleaning your electrical grid since no studies have shown that dirt will affect the amount of electricity generated. However, tiny little things like mold growing on electrical wires can cause problems. You should check your wiring periodically for corrosion, cuts, or rips. Wires under 10 inches long shouldn’t require replacement, but those that are more than 15 inches and exposed to freezing temperatures should be replaced every three to five years.
- Don’t Overload
If you notice that your panels generate less electricity than expected or your inverter starts acting sluggish or making weird noises, it’s likely due to Overload. Overloaded panels heat up excessively, resulting in permanent damage or even failure. Make sure you aren’t using more wattage than the panels need by reading the label or instructions and checking online. You’ll then know whether or not you need to buy larger panels so they can handle the additional load.
- Inspect Them Regularly
If you’re looking to keep your panels in top shape, inspect them regularly. Look at the edges and corners for signs of damage or cracking. This will help you anticipate problems before they occur. If you notice anything that needs immediate repair, contact a professional as soon as possible.
7. Keep Panels Clean
Over time, dirt and dust can accumulate on your solar panels. This can reduce their energy output by up to 60% costing you a lot of money!