How often should I clean my solar panels?

If you’re anything like me, the condition of my solar panels is generally the furthest thought from my mind. But in reality, it is worth thinking about your solar panels every few months or so because even a thin layer of residue can make a big difference to their performance. 

Solar panels can get quite dirty, which is logical when you think about it. They are exposed to many external influences that can make dirty the panel, including dust, grime and salt kicked up from nearby roads, bird or bat droppings, and minerals (the main culprits in watermarks) left behind by evaporated rain and snow.

It may seem obvious, but a photovoltaic (PV) system works best if it has completely unobstructed access to the sun’s rays for most or all of the day. Even something as seemingly inconsequential as waterspouts left from rain or snow can have a big impact on the performance of your panels, while bigger spots, obstructions or (heaven forbid) damage can have a much greater effect that may be entirely disproportionate to their size.

Another hazard to a solar panel’s performance may seem surprising. The structure of a house, with its felt or shale roof shingles and tough outer sidings, is built to withstand the most common natural forces, including hail, wind and the resultant flying detritus (tree branches, twigs, and other assorted assaults). But solar panels are fairly delicate creatures, their dark petals designed to spend their life passively sunbathing, soaking up the sun’s rays and internally converting them into energy for you to use. 

Enter the dark forces of nature, and a solar panel’s surface can without too much effort be cracked, chipped or otherwise broken. This situation can go entirely unknown by you for months, until you realize there is a problem with your energy production and usage. 

Of course, nobody really wants to spend their days fretting about solar panels. Part of the purpose of their existence is to eliminate stress from the planet-wide impact of burning fossil fuels – so who wants to replace that stress with worry about their solar panels getting an owie? The easiest way to avoid that stress is to schedule a solar panel checkup at least every six months. You can use your trusty phone’s calendar app to remind you and then clamber onto the roof to do a manual inspection. Or better yet, you can leave it to the professionals at BCS Cleaning Utah to keep track of when your solar panels need a checkup and then take care of any cleaning and repairs that need doing at the same time, all without falling off the roof (we all have Masters degrees in gymnastics and the high-wire).

Give BCS a call today at 801 561 1730 to schedule your solar panels’ regular maintenance checkup. We’ll have you saving the planet again at your full potential in no time!

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