If you’ve had solar panels installed on your home, there is probably one question that has been burning at the back of your head – how often should I clean my solar panels? Regular cleaning is an important part of solar panel maintenance and something you will need within the first year of installation, as clean solar panels in Arizona are more efficient and will get you the most bang for your buck.
Let’s take a closer look at how often you should get your solar panels cleaned, who should be doing the cleaning, and why they cleaned in the first place.
Why Do Solar Panels Need to be Cleaned?
Before we get into how often they need to be cleaned, let’s look at why solar panels need regular cleaning in the first place. Not everyone realizes that solar panels can get very dirty in a short time, which makes sense when you consider that they are outside 24/7 and at the mercy of the elements.
When dirt and grime build up on the surface of the panel, it reduces the performance of the photovoltaic system, which works best when there are no obstructions between the UV rays and the glass panel.
So, because things like dirt, grime, and bird droppings accumulate on most solar panels, they will start to lose efficiency unless they are regularly cleaned.
Solar panel specialists have long debated how often they need to be cleaned, although most can agree that you should get them cleaned on average once every six months. However, there are instances where you might need it more frequently or can wait longer till they need to be cleaned.
For example, if you live in a drier climate then a lot of dust can build up on the panels, especially after summer, in which case you may benefit from 2-3 cleanings per year. Another example would be if you live near wooded areas and the panels see a lot of bird droppings, which may also call for more regular cleaning.
So, a good rule of thumb is to arrange for a cleaning at least every six months, possibly more if you feel the panels are constantly getting dirty. If there isn’t much of an issue, then one cleaning every six months should be more than enough.
Preferably, have the cleaning at the end of the winter and summer, as these seasons will see a lot of residue build-ups!
Should I DIY in Cleaning My Solar Panels?
No! It’s always recommended that you hire a professional solar cleaning business to wash your panels safely. Dealing with lots of soapy water on a high roof without any safety equipment is very dangerous, so never risk it!
You might not clean the panels correctly and could end up damaging them, or even worse, injuring yourself during the cleaning process. Your solar panels should be cleaned approximately every 6 months.
Late spring and late autumn are great times to clean your solar panels: you could combine this with your semi-annual gutter clearing.
In particularly dry, dusty areas, such as rural farms, or areas where there is more air pollution, including industrial areas or construction sites, your solar panels might need to be cleaned a little more often, but this shouldn’t be more frequent than every 3-4 months. This might also apply if your solar panels are relatively flat and regular rainfall can’t rinse off the dust effectively.