Solar energy is increasingly becoming a popular and environmentally friendly way to power Australian homes. Installing solar panels on your roof is an excellent way to reduce your carbon footprint and save on electricity bills. However, to ensure that your solar panels continue to function optimally and provide you with clean energy for years to come, regular maintenance is essential. In this blog, we’ll provide you with solar maintenance tips, covering everything you need to know to keep your solar system in top shape.
Why Solar Maintenance Matters
Before diving into the maintenance tips, it’s important to understand why it’s crucial to care for your solar panels. Solar panels are exposed to various, harsh environmental elements, especially here in Australia, including sunlight, rain, wind, dust, and unfortunately potentially hail and heavy tree branches. Over time, these factors can lead to a decrease in energy production and efficiency, or even damage. Regular maintenance helps prevent energy decline and limit the risk of damage; it also ensures that your solar panels generate will maximum power for many years to come.
Now that you know why regular maintenance is so essential, let’s delve into some of the things you can do to keep your solar system in tip-top shape.
- Visual Inspection
Start with a visual inspection of your solar panels. Look for any signs of damage, such as cracks, scratches, or loose connections. Check the mounting system to ensure it’s secure and not sagging. Additionally, inspect the wiring and conduits for any exposed or damaged parts. A thorough visual examination should be done at least once a year and directly after severe weather events – once it’s safe of course. If you do notice any damage, you should call a solar electrician as soon as possible to inspect it, this minimises the risk of further damage and ensures you and your family are safe.
- Clean Your Solar Panels
Dirt, dust, and debris can accumulate on your solar panels, reducing their efficiency. Cleaning your panels is a straightforward but essential task. Use a soft brush or a squeegee with a non-abrasive detergent and water to gently clean the surface. Avoid abrasive materials that could scratch the glass. Depending on your location, aim to clean your panels every few months or as needed. But remember to only DIY this if you have the correct tools and safety equipment. Solar repair and maintenance companies like our team have all the necessary equipment to handle this job for you safely.
- Trim Overhanging Trees
Trees near your solar panels can cast shadows, which reduce their efficiency. They also have the potential to snap under heavy rain or from wildlife and cause damage to your panels. To ensure your panels are producing maximum energy and are safe from damage, trim any overhanging branches regularly.
- Check for Pests
Birds and rodents may nest under or near your solar panels. Not only can they damage your system, but their droppings can also dirty your panels and obstruct sunlight. Install critter guards or wire mesh to deter pests from making a home on or near your solar panels.
- Monitor Your System
Many modern solar systems come with monitoring software that allows you to track your energy production and detect any irregularities. Keep an eye on your system’s performance and set up alerts for significant drops in energy production. If you notice a problem, contact a professional for a detailed inspection.
- Schedule Professional Inspections
While you can perform some maintenance tasks yourself, it’s wise to schedule professional inspections annually. Solar technicians have the expertise and necessary equipment to assess your system thoroughly. They can identify any issues that may not be visible during a visual inspection and troubleshoot your system to ensure that all components are functioning correctly and get your system working like new again in no time.
- Keep Records
Maintain a record of your solar system’s performance, including energy production, maintenance tasks, professional inspections, and reports from any service or maintenance completed. These records can be helpful for tracking the long-term health of your system and can be valuable if you ever need to claim warranty coverage.
- Warranty Review
Review your solar panel manufacturer’s warranty periodically. Understand the terms and conditions, especially the maintenance requirements, to ensure that you’re complying with them. Regular maintenance often plays a crucial role in maintaining warranty coverage.
Maintain Your Solar System’s Health
Owning a solar panel system is a long-term investment in clean energy and cost savings. To protect and maximise your investment, regular maintenance is key. By following these solar maintenance tips for homeowners, you can keep your solar panels in optimal condition, ensuring that they continue to provide you with clean and sustainable energy for years to come. Remember, if you ever have doubts or encounter issues beyond your expertise, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. A well-maintained solar system is not only good for your wallet but also for the environment.