Solar panel systems last for years with limited maintenance needs. However, a little care can go a long way - Regular checkups will save you costly repairs down the road, and keep your panels looking nice and shiny.
It’s not a bad idea to be well versed with each solar component in order to maintain your solar panel system. Racking and roof penetration are needed to affix the panels to your roof. The wiring and inverters that tie your panels to the home’s electrical system and grid are equally important. The system is quite easy to understand, and familiarizing yourself with its setup will help in case there is any maintenance to be done.
Here’s a checklist to maintain:
1- Watch for Dirt and Debris Build-Up
Solar panels - especially in the Midwest - do not need to be cleaned too often. The occasional rain will take care of any dust, and snow will melt faster on the panels than it will on the rest of the roof. However, it’s a good idea every few months to glance at the panels and make sure there is no residual dirt, snow or leaves. If there is, a light rinsing off with a hose should take care of the problem.
Make sure you do not get on the roof to clean the panels. If there is a serious snow buildup, consider investing in a long-handled broom or roof rake. These only cost about $50 and will allow you to clean off the panels in any condition.
2- Lookout for Rack and Roof Penetrations
Racking ensures that your solar panels system mounts to the roof. The bolt penetrations further hold the weight of your solar panels and ensure structural soundness. These systems are well-tested to ensure durability and craftsmanship. While rare, if you notice any leaks, contact your installer to get them fixed. These issues are often covered under warranty - do not attempt to fix them yourself!
3. Check the Panels After Severe Weather Events
An extremely bad storm, tornado, or hurricane can result in broken panels. Broken glass will obviously have a very bad impact on the performance of your solar panel system. You can easily diagnose problems with the system by checking the cosmetic appearance of the panels or watching their performance through online monitoring.
Luckily, homeowners insurance covers panels in the case of severe weather events. Contact your installer and they will walk you through the steps of repairing and/or replacing your panels.
4. Monitor the System
Most solar systems - including all systems sold by YellowLite - come with unlimited online monitoring, where you can track the performance of the system on a daily, weekly, and monthly level.
Checking online monitoring at least once every few weeks is a good idea, and many homeowners enjoy checking systems daily to see the output they are generating. Regular check up ensures that you can identify any miscellaneous problems and report them to your installer to get fixed.
Solar panels are some of the most low-maintenance home improvements on the market. In fact, many panels last well beyond their 30-year warranty - panels manufactured in the 70s are still producing power today! However, little care can go a long way when it comes to your solar panels. Better health ensures better efficiency and will keep your solar panels working for a very long time.