Solar panels offer fantastic benefits for the environment and for home energy bills. It’s no wonder that they are increasingly popular across the country.
In fact, more than 3.2 million Australian households now feature a solar energy system, which is almost a third of all homes. Even more astonishing is the fact that that’s up from just 14% in 2018.
Unlike traditional energy sources however, solar panels do require regular maintenance to ensure optimum output. In other words, you need to clean your panels regularly to help them perform at their best.
Solar Panels Build Up Dirt And Debris Over Time
Due to the simple fact that solar panels exist outdoors, they tend to build up a layer of dust, dirt and debris over time. This can also include bird droppings, leaves and saline salts.
Aside from being unsightly, this build-up can result in energy loss as the panels are unable to soak up as much sunlight as they would if they were clean.
Ultimately, the accumulation of dirt and other materials on solar panels can result in energy loss of 10% to 40% every year.
By not cleaning your solar panels for a year or two, you may be significantly limiting how much energy they are generating, therefore losing money by paying for traditional energy instead of solar.
Energy prices have just increased once again and may continue to do so in future. So if you’ve noticed your power bills are higher than usual, or if you’d like to ensure you’re not paying any more than you need to, cleaning your solar panels can be a very simple and effective cost saver.
What is The Best Method For Cleaning Solar Panels?
For simple cleans, you can wash your own solar panels however it’s important to understand there are inherent risks when attempting to DYI clean your solar panels that cannot be ignored.
Firstly, there are slip and fall risks which are very real and can have catastrophic consequences so if you’re attempting to climb your roof and clean your own solar panels be sure you are tethered securely and wearing an Australian Standards Approved Fall Arrest Harness which can be purchased at most hardware stores. Also, ensure your ladder is secured and you have someone watching over you the whole time in the event of an accident who can render assistance or call for help if required. We would not recommend you attempt to clean your solar panels unless you have been trained, competent and certified for Working Safely at Heights.
Secondly, without even realising it you may be doing more harm than good to the surface of your solar panels. You may very easily without knowing damage wiring harnesses, power optimisers, and the inverter which if any are damaged will render the entire system inoperable.
Even after all that has been said, so many Australians will still want to clean their own solar panels so if you choose to proceed and DYI clean your solar panels remember – DO NOT use any soaps, chemicals, or abrasive brushes or you may do more harm than good. Note; the use of any type of soap or chemical may damage the electronic components on your solar panel system. Furthermore, washing chemically tainted water into the storm water system via your gutters and downpipes is not allowed anywhere in Australia, heavy fines apply for these breaches.
Simply hose the surface to moisten the dirt, bird dropping and debris on the surface then using a very soft (not soft, but very soft) bristled brush or broom gently agitate the surface and be sure to have water running spilling over the surface while agitating. Rinse off thoroughly and allow the surface to dry naturally, do not use a squeegee or cloth to dry the surface. Check when dry if you are happy with the surface clean, and if not repeat the process.
With that all said, the best way to clean your solar panel system is to use an experienced and competent professional solar panel cleaner for the best outcomes.
Reasons to Consider A Professional For Solar Panel Cleaning
When you’re looking for how to clean solar panels, there are several excellent reasons to hire a professional.
First of all, professional cleaning services on the Central Coast such as Cleanpass Services provide all the quality cleaning products needed for the job. This includes biodegradable soaps, non-abrasive brushes, a motorised rolling brush, and for tough jobs, special cleaning agents to remove built-up dirt and grime. When using soaps and chemicals the downpipes will be detached from your gutters and wash-off will be diverted to where it cannot contaminate the storm water systems which run into rivers, lakes and the ocean.
Using the correct products is necessary to ensure a sparkling clean finish, but also to avoid damaging or scratching the surface of the panels. Additionally, hiring a professional can be an excellent way to avoid safety issues. Working at any kind of height is a genuine safety risk, especially if you don’t have the right tools and training for the task. Bringing in an expert can help to ensure you’re not putting your wellbeing at risk as you clean your solar panels.
Of course, like any task around the home, hiring a professional can also save you time. Finally, we know that Australians love DIY, and that includes regular cleaning for areas such as solar panels. Therefore, it’s entirely possible to hire a professional for a deep clean once every year or two, then do your own quick rinses or washes in between for maintenance.
How Often Do Solar Panels Need to Be Cleaned?
Solar panels need to be cleaned more often than you might think. Rainfall alone is not enough to clean off stubborn dirt and other stuck-on substances.
In most cases, cleaning just once or twice per year should be enough to keep your solar panels in good working order.
Aim to clean them during spring to clear away any dirt and debris from the cooler months, and to prepare them for the sunnier summer months. Additionally, aim to do this cleaning in the early morning or late evening, as they can get too hot to touch during warm summer days.
The exception to the one-to-two times per year rule is if your property is situated close to the ocean. If you are within 500 metres of the sea, the salty air can necessitate more regular cleanings.
Additionally, properties with solar panels located under or near trees may also need more regular cleanings.
Ideally, your solar panel installer should have left you with cleaning instructions specific to your panels and property, so be sure to check those for further insights. Or, when you hire Cleanpass Services, we’ll be happy to offer advice as to how often your panels should be cleaned for maximum energy output.
Book Cleanpass Services For Professional Solar Panel Cleaning in Central Coast or Surrounds
Cleanpass Services offers professional solar panel cleaning in the Central Coast and surrounding areas.
Our team arrives on time, uses premium products to best protect your solar panels, and leaves the panels spotless. We use purified water that’s been treated with a carbon sediment filter, which removes minute particles and chlorine from tap water. That means there’s no residue left behind to attract dirt and dust so they stay cleaner for longer.
The result of professional cleaning is more efficient solar panels, greater power bill cost savings, lower environmental emissions, and a safer environment for you when you don’t need to clamber onto the roof to do the task yourself.
Contact us today to learn more about our solar panel cleaning services, or to request a quote.