ION Solar Blog

How to Maintain Your Solar Panels Year Round

Solar panels generate clean electricity throughout all seasons of the year. They are manufactured to withstand weather conditions such as rain, snow, hail, and fall debris while still harnessing the power of the sun. Maintaining your solar panels year round helps to ensure they are functioning properly.

Winter

With winter comes snow and ice. Snow buildup can impact your solar panel’s performance. Solar panels are typically installed at an angle, which allows snow buildup to slide off of the panels. Snow can also melt quickly due to the heat of the sun and heat produced by your home. If snow buildup seems to be impacting your energy production, you can easily clean it off with a long broom. 

Ice buildup can also begin to impact your solar panel performance. Removing ice from your roof may occasionally be necessary to prevent water or structural damage. Although this is unlikely, being aware of the possibility can prevent unwanted damage. When ice buildup occurs, do not use salts to melt the ice. This can cause corrosion or damage. In the event that ice buildup needs to be removed, reach out to a professional maintenance company to avoid any long-term issues. 

Luckily solar panels are manufactured to withstand harsh weather conditions, but by monitoring your system periodically you can prevent any damage from undetected problems.

Spring

When warmer weather arrives, it can be beneficial to have an annual inspection of your panels to ensure they are working properly and that no damage or issues have taken place. You can schedule for someone to check your solar panel arrays. The Solar America Board for Codes and Standards recommends that all annual inspections check the following:

  • Water damage or roof penetrations
  • Roof drainage issues
  • Vegetation growth and shading
  • Ground erosion for ground mount systems
  • Proper signage
  • Appropriate expansion joints
  • Corrosion on enclosures and racking system
  • Cleanliness of site
  • Loose hanging wires in the array
  • Animal infestation

These tests can ensure your solar panels are working correctly and generating clean energy for your home!

Summer

Summer sunshine is ideal for solar panels! While this should be a productive season for your energy production, your solar panels can collect dust, pollen, grime and animal droppings. These obstructions will begin to take a toll on your production. Luckily, summer rain will wash away any type of debris, dust or pollen. However, if rain is not occurring where you are and your solar panels need to be cleaned, you can wash them with soap, water and a non-abrasive sponge. Avoid using hard water as this can cause scaling or corrosion over time.

A quick and easy solar panel cleaning will have your panels generating energy to its fullest capacity in no time!

Fall

Solar panels generate energy during the fall despite colder temperatures. Autumn winds and tall trees can cause fall leaves and other vegetation to build up around your solar panels. Similar to cleaning off your solar panels during the winter, using a long broom can easily sweep the fall leaves from your panels. If removing fall foliage is too difficult, you can hire a professional to clear your solar panels from any unwanted debris. 

Maintaining your solar panels are important for panel production and making the most of your solar energy. While we do monitor your system production, being on top of your solar panel maintenance can prevent unwanted and unnecessary damage.

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