Solar Panel Maintenance 101
Solar panels have come a long way in just the last few years. Panel efficiency is up 25 percent or more while the cost per watt is down by more than 60 percent in most cases. But if you have older panels, there are many things you can do to maintain them and maximize how much energy they are contributing to your home.
Maintenance for Solar Panels
The good news is most solar panels in good working order require very little maintenance. Because most solar panels in Gilbert and the Phoenix Metro area are installed at an angle, wind and rain can easily remove any debris or dust that might accumulate. And since snow isn’t likely to be an issue in the Phoenix Valley, you don’t have to worry about snow buildup blocking out the sun.
You are more likely to have issues with leaves and other debris accumulating around the framework that holds the panels. A leaf blower or a quick spray with a garden hose can clear most debris and dust. If you do decide to spray them off, be sure to test your water on your windows first as it could be hard (most water in the Valley is) and leave mineral deposits on your panels, making their efficiency worse, not better.
If you must use a ladder or step on the roof, it goes without saying you’ll need to use extreme caution. If you’d rather have someone inspect your panels to see if you need to maintain them, give us a call at Fusion Power at 480-676-1443 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will Dust Storms or Hail Damage Solar Panels?
Dust storms are a fact of life in the Valley of the Sun. Watching a cloud of dust that is thousands of feet high can inspire awe but can also be intimidating. High winds and massive amounts of atmospheric dust can do damage to your landscaping, roofing and even your HVAC system.
But if your solar panels are properly installed, a dust storm isn’t likely to damage the panels. If rain accompanies the storm, it will wash any dust off of the panels. If there is no rain, you can rinse them off with a garden hose. (Again, see the note about water hardness above.)
Hail can be an issue, however. While small hailstones are not likely to damage your solar panels, large hail can damage panels and a whole lot more. If the panel is damaged, it will need to be replaced. Homeowner’s insurance will likely cover this damage. Call or email Fusion Power if you need assistance replacing your solar panels.
Should I Replace My Solar Panels?
Newer solar panels can last decades. But if you purchased a home that already had panels installed, you may not really know what you have. Are they high-quality panels that deliver maximum efficiency? Were they installed in the right locations on your home? Were they installed properly?
Even if you have good panels, installation mistakes might mean they don’t work nearly as well as they should. How do you know if the panels are installed incorrectly or have other issues?
- Yellow or brown discoloration could mean the ethyl vinyl acetate inside the panel is degrading. This is more typical in low-quality panels.
- Exposed cables can be a danger, causing fires or even electrocution, and is a sign of improper installation.
- Panels in the shade can actually affect panels that are properly positioned.
- Panels that extend over the roof are generally not installed properly as they are more likely to catch the wind or cover gutters.
Do Solar Panels Have a Warranty?
The solar systems from Fusion Power come with a 25 year warranty. That means you have peace of mind that your investment will deliver returns for a long time, saving you money and helping the environment.