Summer is the optimal time to have solar panels. Long days and lots of sunny weather mean you’ll see your panels producing at peak!
But as homeowners with solar across Oregon, Iowa, and Montana are quick to point out, summer can also bring less ideal things. Like dry, dusty weather, or worse: wildfires.
So how do you take care of solar panels during the summer?
Below we’ll go over the top 3 things to know about caring for your solar panels during the lazy days of summer.
#1: Your Solar Panel Cleaning Tool
It’s something you probably already have sitting in your back yard: a garden hose.
No, we’re not joking. The best option for cleaning your solar panels off is a garden hose and spray nozzle. How?
Because professionally installed solar is installed at an angle, and most solar panels have a hydrophobic layer added on top of the glass that covers the solar cells, things like rain, snow, and debris will naturally slide off. But when your solar is looking a little dusty, or a strong wind just blew a bunch of leaves across your panels, a hose can help.
To clean your panels, simply grab your hose, stick a spray nozzle on, and spray down your panels while staying safe on the ground.
#2: Timing Matters with Solar Panel Cleaning
While solar panel cleaning is fairly easy, it does matter when you spray them down.
Solar panels are designed to withstand a broad range of temperatures, from -40º to over 150º. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t still damage the glass layer covering and protecting the solar cells.
It’s important to take two things into account when cleaning your solar panels: when, and at what temperature.
For instance, in summer you should aim to clean your solar panels in the morning, or evening after the sun is beginning to set. Cleaning your panels midday with cool water from a garden hose means that you’re going to see the heat from the panels evaporate the water so quickly it might not do any good. You’re also risking causing the panels to cool rapidly which can cause the glass part of a panel to crack.
Even during spring and autumn when temperatures are generally cooler, it’s still advisable to water early in the morning or late in the day.
#3: When in Doubt, Call a Pro
Most of the time cleaning your solar panels is an easy chore accomplished with minimal work, and can be done standing safely on your lawn.
But every so often, like after a bad wildfire season, or when snow from a blizzard melts and leaves a residue, the cleaning your panels need to work as efficiently as possible is more complex.
Because of that hydrophobic layer added to most solar panels, and the nature of the materials used in the frame of the panels, only very specific cleaning products can be used. Harsh and abrasive cleaners can damage your panels and void warranties that help extend the life of your system.
Similarly, the only tools suggested for use to do a more in-depth cleaning of your solar panels are highly specialized. Brushes, rakes, even a broom could cause microscopic scratches that can worsen over time.
If you’re seeing a notable drop in energy production on your monitoring system, reach out to your solar installer and ask them to run a check. If the issue is that your panels just need a good cleaning, you’ll be able to ask that same company to come out and help, or recommend someone who can do a good job.
Solar is Your Low Maintenance Renewable Energy
Especially in comparison to other residential renewable options, solar is pretty low maintenance. Beyond keeping an eye on your monitoring system, and spraying your panels with your trusty garden hose, there’s not much more you would do as a homeowner with solar.
Unlike renewables like wind, solar also doesn’t have any moving parts. That means that whether you’re in Oregon, Iowa, or Montana, caring for your solar panel year round will be less intensive than most other home and yard care.
With net metering, and the current Solar Investment Tax Credit saving homeowners who go solar before the end of 2022 an extra 26% of their solar installation costs, solar is a low maintenance and affordable option to invest in clean, renewable energy for your home and save.
Go Solar, Stay Local
Haven’t gone solar yet, but want to? You can go solar for $0 upfront.
Purelight Power is your local solar company across Oregon, Iowa, and Montana!
Take a 60 second survey today to find out if your roof qualifies for Purelight’s $0 down program.