How Much Maintenance is Required for Solar Panels?
How To Maintain Your Home Solar System Properly
At SunrunTM, we strive to make solar energy accessible to everyone, regardless if you choose to lease or purchase — your solar system still needs proper caring. Maintaining the health of your solar panels will guarantee you the biggest energy savings possible over the next 25 to 30 years.
How Long Do Solar Panels Last?
Solar panels have a lifespan of approximately 25-30 years,1 and often come with warranties to match, stating they’ll produce at least 80% of the rated power after two decades of usage.2 They’re incredibly reliable! And although solar systems require little regular maintenance, some solar providers offer comprehensive maintenance packages for the life of their products to ensure they efficiently continue generating clean, affordable, and reliable energy for years to come.
If you lease or buy a solar system from a solar provider who offers a maintenance agreement, your solar technicians will routinely inspect your panels at designated times throughout the year and even clean them for you. Meaning, with a plan of this type, once your system is up, you’ll forget about it — and simply enjoy your electric bill savings; while helping the environment stay clear from harmful greenhouse gas emissions by reducing your carbon footprint.
In case your home solar panels don’t come with a maintenance plan, we’ll walk you through some essential steps you can take to keep them running smoothly.
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Remember solar panels need the sun to work. The more sunlight that hits your panels, the more power they’ll produce. But since they are angled toward the sun — this positioning unfortunately allows more dirt, pollen, leaves, birds droppings, and dust to collect on top of them. Even a small amount of grime has the capacity to reduce their energy production. That’s why it’s important to conduct periodic maintenance checks & visual inspections of your system.
Do you live in a rainy climate? In many scenarios, rain will wash off the debris your solar panels collect, especially when installed at a steeper tilt. Yet, if your panels happen to gather an unusually thick coating of filth, or if you’re a desert inhabitant familiar with layers of sand and grit covering your outdoor material possessions — you can easily rinse your panels without leaving the ground with plain ole’ water. Just direct your hose spray up to your panels and shower them off, this will imitating the cleansing action of natural rainfall.3
Seeing your roof getting too comfy with a snow blanket? Fortunately, most of the time the snow will melt in around a day or two due to the sun’s rays and the heat your home produces. Besides ice build up, you shouldn’t worry about your solar panels working during the cold weather.4
Solar Maintenance Safety Tips
If for any reason using a hose spray at ground level doesn’t wash off the grime on your solar panels, or the snow doesn't melt away. At Sunrun, we can’t stress enough how your safety is our #1 concern and advise against further attempts to clean your panels without the proper training and equipment. So please, contact your trusted solar provider to receive professional assistance.
The United States Department of Energy (DOE) is committed to facilitating widespread adoption of safe, reliable and cost-effective solar energy.5 One of the reasons it founded the Solar America Board for Codes and Standards (Solar ABCs) organization, with one of their objectives being maintaining quality control and safety standards on PV installations. Click here to learn more about their report: “PV System Operations and Maintenance Fundamentals.”6
How Much Does Solar Power Maintenance Cost?
Solar panel maintenance costs can vary greatly depending on each solar provider because system installations are often tailored to the unique energy needs of each homeowner.
Sunrun’s BrightSave MonthlyTM and BrightSave PrepaidTM plans include worry-free professional maintenance and monitoring for two decades. However, if you’re looking to purchase your own solar system, our BrightBuyTM or BrightAdvantageTM plans also have your back by letting you receive the equipment warranties directly from top manufacturers in the industry.
And if you have more questions about which maintenance routine your future solar system will need, our team of advisors is ready to discuss your energy needs and help you find the ideal solar solution for your home. Start with a complimentary solar quote today!