Nov 14, 2022

What Las Vegas Homeowners Should Know About Solar Panel Cleaning


House with solar panels

 Solar panel installation could be the way to go if you want to save money on your energy bill and reduce your home's carbon footprint. What Las Vegas homeowners should know about solar panel cleaning is that solar panels are an investment. They have a long lifespan (25–30 years) and can pay for themselves over time.

Suppose you're interested in learning more about solar panel maintenance. In that case, this guide will provide you with all the information you need, including how often your panels need care, how much it costs to keep your solar panels, how to clean your solar panels, and more.

Here's what you need to know before you start cleaning solar panels.

Opinions on whether solar panels need to be cleaned vary widely. Some researchers claim solar panels don't need cleaning since rain can do the trick or that dust buildup doesn't significantly reduce output.

However, recent studies have shown that dust buildup on solar panels can reduce efficiency by as much as 20%. Particular regions experience fluctuating temperatures and varying levels of airborne dust. For instance, some areas have relatively little precipitation and air pollution. Dust accumulation in low-rainfall parts may be more significant, necessitating more frequent cleaning. In contrast, areas with frequent rainfall and low levels of air pollution may never need to clean their panels. The degree to which your solar panels accumulate dirt could even be affected by the angle at which your roof is pitched. For example, panels on a flat roof will collect more dirt than those on a steep roof.

 When Do I Need to Clean My Solar Panels?

Examine your home’s solar panels visually once a month to check for dust buildup. A drop in output may also appear on your monthly power bill or the solar system monitoring app. When that time comes, and only then should you worry about washing your solar panels. What Las Vegas homeowners should know about solar panel cleaning is that even if you don't clean them, nature will most likely do it for you.

House with solar panels.
Inspecting your solar panels is usually enough to determine whether they need cleaning.

How does geographic location impact the frequency of solar panel cleaning?

Where you place the panels affects how you will clean them and how often they need cleaning. In most cases, cleaning them once or twice a year is sufficient. In unusual circumstances, however, you might need to clean them frequently.

 Polluted places. Near factories, highways, and airports, solar panels that collect dirt and oil from the air work less well.

  • Places with lots of trees. Leaves falling over solar panels can reduce their ability to absorb sunlight, so it's important to avoid installing them near densely treed areas. Birds are attracted to trees; their droppings can accumulate on the PV cells and damage the surface due to their acidity.

  • Deserts. Sand builds up on PV panels in the Middle East and the American Southwest, which are arid and sandy. Sand builds on PV panels and blocks light, and scratches the surface. Rapid ash may happen in California and Australia, where wildfires occur often. 

What does it cost to keep your solar panels in good working order?

Most households get a professional solar panel cleaner and inspector once a year. There are so many solar panels on the roof that it is prudent to hire a professional installer. The good news is that even if you employ a professional to handle the upkeep, you can expect to pay only a nominal amount. Hiring solar panel cleaning experts isn’t expensive, so you should leave this task to the pros for convenience.

 An annual inspection costs about $150, and two cleanings cost about $150 each ($300 total), so yearly maintenance for a solar panel system costs roughly $450, as reported by Home Advisor. If your solar panel system is broken or dirt and debris build up faster on your panels, you may have to clean them more often and pay more for maintenance.

Woman counting money.
Hiring experts for solar panel cleaning is usually reasonably priced and is the best option.

How to Remove Dust and Grime from Solar Panels

Solar panels are one of the best eco-friendly investments for your home, so here’s how to clean them:

  1. Before cleaning the panels, make sure you have followed the manufacturer's recommendations for doing so. Never attempt a system clean-up from the roof. You and your panels are in danger if you do that. 

  1. You can save time and effort by brushing away any loose dirt before spraying it with water, making squeegeeing much easier. 

  1. You may get by with a suitable nozzle for your lawn hose. A more thorough solar panel cleaning procedure may be required if there is a great deal of dirt and grime. You can use a squeegee attachment to clean. 

  1. You should not use metal tools, abrasives, or cleaning solutions. Scratches on solar panels can block the sun, reducing its effectiveness. Get clean water and wet a cloth-covered sponge or a soft plastic brush. 

  1. As opposed to the "hard water" experienced by some, rainwater has a relatively low mineral content. Squeeze the panels dry after washing to avoid mineral deposits and streaks.

Person holding garden hose.
You can clean solar panels with a garden hose. That is one of the things Las Vegas homeowners should know about solar panel cleaning.

Here are some that you should avoid when cleaning solar panels.

  • Under no circumstances should cold water be used to clean heated panels. The PV panels may crack from the sudden temperature change. Instead, clean panels before sunrise, after sunset, or on a cloudy, cold day.

  • It is not recommended to use chemicals that are acidic or abrasive. Before using a cleaning solution, check the label to see if there are any special precautions you need to take. If you are unsure what to use, stick with plain water and dish soap.

  • Instead of installing gutters, consider using a plant-safe cleaning solution.

  • Never use pressure washers. What Las Vegas homeowners should know about solar panel cleaning is that the glass surface of your solar panels can break if there is too much pressure on them.

 In Conclusion

What Las Vegas homeowners should know about solar panel cleaning is that solar panel systems will cost you more than many other major household purchases. However, they are substantially less high-maintenance and live significantly longer. Solar panel cleaning usually needs to be done once a year. Otherwise, your panels will not require any more maintenance throughout the year as long as they are in good working order.


No comments:

  © Blogger template 'A Click Apart' by 2008

Back to TOP