Have you heard the news? Solar energy is the least expensive form of energy available. That’s pretty incredible news – and it is so inexpensive because of improved manufacturing processes and green incentives. That means there’s never been a better time to get solar panels!
We know that some people can be a bit intimidated by the notion of having to maintain their solar panels, so we’re here to give you a few tips. You’ll be delighted to know that one of the reasons solar energy is so inexpensive is that you have to do virtually nothing to maintain your solar panels.
Removing snow from your solar panels
Did you know solar panels work more efficiently in the wintertime? It’s true – though they’ll absorb less sunlight (because there are fewer sunlight hours), solar panels work best when it’s cold outside.
The exception to this rule is when there’s snow on the panels, and that can make it tempting for some homeowners to go up there and brush off the snow.
Don’t do it.
The sun will melt all of that snow before too long – even though we get a lot of snow in Winnipeg, it’s usually no more than a day or two before the sun is shining again. We have the second most sunlight hours of any major city in Canada (behind only Calgary). That sunshine will do a great job of melting the snow off the panels, especially if they’re tilted.
If you brush off the snow on your own, you might get a little bit more energy from your panels. The cost, however, is the risk of damaging your panels permanently – or hurting yourself as you try to brush a bunch of snow off of a high place.
Removing dirt from your solar panels
When it comes to removing dirt, grime, dust, or similar substances from your panels, you can use a garden hose (not a power washer) and spray them down – in the fall, you can use a leaf blower to get rid of any leaves.
Hypothetically, you could also use a mild detergent and a very soft sponge. But honestly? You don’t need to. In fact, you might never even need to use a hose. A summer thunderstorm is usually more than enough to clean your solar panels – only spray them down if we’ve had a long, dry spell.
Monitoring your solar array’s performance
Based on what we’ve discussed so far, you’ve probably come to the conclusion that solar panels require almost no maintenance at all – and you’d be right.
The best part? You can monitor how much energy your array is producing so that you can tell when your panels need servicing. We’re a solar installer in Winnipeg, and we can help you set up a monitoring system. Then, you can record how much energy your panels produce every day – just be sure to account for changes in sunlight hours and weather.
If you notice your array’s performance is dipping – especially after a dry spell – you can gently clean your panels. If there’s a dip in performance and cleaning doesn’t help, call us to check on things.
So now you know – solar panels require virtually no maintenance, and they can alert you, almost immediately, when they do need maintenance. That means inexpensive and easy power for your family.