The Importance of Cleaning Solar Panels
Should your solar panels be professionally cleaned? If so, why, how often, and what are the benefits? Below we discuss the importance of cleaning your solar panels and how it will benefit your energy consumption and costs.
Why do Solar Panels Need to be Cleaned?
The short answer is this: Mother Nature.
To elaborate, the earth’s elements are, by nature, destructive. Regardless of what type of material goes into making your solar panel, UV rays, extreme temperatures wind, rain, and other natural substances will cause solar panels to deteriorate over time. Some examples may include:
- Bird droppings are heavily acidic and can eat through metal and glass over time. Bird waste is also thick enough to inhibit the flow of power from the sun into the solar panel.
- Seawater and sea air are always an issue on the coast. Salt spray is one of the leading causes of the corrosion of metallic objects and glass due to high levels of oxygen and the salt particles that do not dissolve in the air.
- Dirt and debris that flies through the air can cake onto the panels and cause widespread destruction. This usually happens over a period of several years.
There is a side issue to consider as well. There is a good chance that if your home or business solar panels are never cleaned, then they are probably never inspected or undergo routine maintenance. By having your solar panels professionally cleaned, a technician will identify areas that need repair or regular maintenance. This will ensure that the panels remain in good shape and perform well throughout the year.
Are Clean Panels More Productive Than Dirty Panels?
This question seems like it would have an obvious answer. There is some debate, however, as to whether dirty panels perform just as well as clean panels. The issue here is not whether the equipment gets dirty. Rather, it is the buildup of dirt and other substances over time. A solar panel with a little dust on it will still operate as it should. A solar panel with a buildup of dust, dirt, mold, and debris, however, is crippled and cannot provide the optimal amount of energy that it should.
The fact is, the sun’s rays cannot penetrate through a solar panel any more than you can see through a dirty windshield on a car that’s been sitting in the driveway for 6 months. Although the rain may wash away some of dirt, you will still need to use a cloth with cleaning solution or the windshield wipers to fully remove the dirt. The fact is, a dirty solar panel can lose up to 25% of its energy-yielding capabilities.
How Often Should Solar Panels be Cleaned?
The frequency of cleaning solar panels largely depends on where you live. If you reside in a house that is located in the middle of a field out in the country in Indiana, you may only need to clean the panels once every one to two years. Here in Florida on the coast, however, we recommend a good professional cleaning at least once every six months. Cleaning the panels at steady intervals prevents the buildup of dirt and grime and keeps the panels operating at peak performance year round.
Solar Panel Cleaning: DIY or Go Pro?
The risks associated with cleaning your own solar panels are too many to name. There are a few key issues, however, that you need to consider:
- It is extremely dangerous to climb onto a roof where solar panels at installed. It is difficult to walk around them without falling.
- If you leave soapy residue on the panels, it will create a platform for dirt and salt spray buildup.
- If you accidentally break a component on the panels, then it may not be covered under the manufacture warranty or your home’s insurance.
- It will take forever. A professional cleaning company can do it in half the time by using the proper methods and equipment.
Beacon Roof & Exterior Cleaning can Clean Your Solar Panels
If you are looking for a professional solar panel cleaning company in Rockledge, Florida or the surrounding area, then contact Beacon Roof & Exterior Cleaning. We provide a wide range of roof cleaning services that are affordable, efficient, and reliable. Call us today at 321-507-4851 (Space Coast) or 772-267-6804 (Treasure Coast). We are Florida’s most trusted solar cleaning company!