Solar Panel Maintenance: Essential Tips for Homeowners

Published Date: May 27, 2024

Solar panels are gaining popularity among homeowners as an eco-friendly and economical energy choice. Yet, similar to any investment, they demand regular upkeep to maintain peak performance and durability. Overlooking this maintenance can result in diminished energy output, premature deterioration, and voided warranties. In this guide, we’ll delve into the significance of solar panel maintenance for homeowners and offer some brief maintenance suggestions.

How To Maintain Solar Panels

Regular maintenance is vital to ensuring your solar panel system’s optimal performance and longevity. Here are the top 6 maintenance tips and best practices you can do to maximize energy production, protect your investment, and enjoy the long-term benefits of sustainable solar energy.

Regular Cleaning

Regular Cleaning

  • Dust, dirt, bird droppings, and other debris can accumulate on solar panels, hindering sunlight absorption and reducing energy output.
  • Use a soft brush, or sponge dipped in mild detergent and water to gently clean the panels’ surface.
  • Avoid abrasive materials or harsh chemicals that could scratch or damage the panels.
  • Regular cleaning, ideally every 1-3 months, depending on local conditions, helps maintain optimal performance.

Monitoring Performance

Monitoring Performance

  • Keep track of your solar panel system’s performance through monitoring software provided by the manufacturer or installer.
  • Look for any noticeable drops in energy production, indicating potential issues such as shading, soiling, or malfunctioning components.
  • Address any issues promptly by contacting your solar panel provider or a qualified technician for inspection and repairs.

Trimming Vegetation

Trimming Vegetation

  • Overhanging branches or nearby vegetation can cast shadows on solar panels, reducing efficiency.
  • Trim trees, shrubs, or other vegetation that may obstruct sunlight and cast shadows on the panels, especially during peak sunlight hours.
  • Consider planting shade-tolerant vegetation or installing shade structures to minimize shading effects without compromising energy production.

Inspecting for Damage

Inspecting For Damage

  • Conduct regular visual inspections of the solar panel array, looking for signs of physical damage, corrosion, or loose connections.
  • Check the mounting system to ensure it is secure and stable, with no signs of rust or deterioration.
  • Inspect wiring and junction boxes for wear, damage, or overheating.
  • Address any issues immediately to prevent further damage and ensure the safety and performance of the system.

Checking Inverter Performance

Checking Inverter Performance

  • The inverter is a crucial component of the solar panel system. It converts the DC electricity the panels generate into usable AC electricity for your home.
  • Monitor the performance of the inverter regularly, looking for any error codes or indicators of malfunction.
  • Schedule regular maintenance checks for the inverter as the manufacturer or installer recommends to ensure optimal performance and longevity.

Professional Maintenance

Professional Maintenance

  • Schedule periodic maintenance inspections with a qualified solar panel technician or installer, typically once a year or as the manufacturer recommends.
  • Professional inspections can identify potential issues early, prevent costly repairs, and ensure the system continues to operate efficiently.
  • Discuss any concerns or questions you have with the technician during the maintenance visit and follow their recommendations for upkeep.

How Often Do Solar Panels Need Maintenance?

The frequency of solar panel maintenance can vary depending on location, weather conditions, and the surrounding environment. While a general guideline is to clean and inspect solar panels every 1-3 months, homeowners should adjust their maintenance schedule based on observed changes in performance and environmental factors. Let’s explore the factors that influence the frequency of solar panel maintenance in detail below. 

a. Location

  • Solar panel maintenance frequency can vary based on your location. Regions with high levels of airborne dust, pollution, or pollen may require more frequent cleaning to prevent buildup on the panel surface.

b. Weather Conditions

  • Weather conditions also play a significant role in determining the maintenance needs of solar panels. For example, regions prone to frequent storms or strong winds may experience increased debris accumulation on panels, requiring more frequent cleaning and inspection.
  • Extreme temperatures, such as prolonged periods of intense heat or cold, can also impact the performance and lifespan of solar panels, necessitating periodic checks and adjustments.

c. Surrounding Environment

  • The surrounding environment, including nearby vegetation, buildings, or structures, can influence the maintenance requirements of solar panels. Trees or shrubs that cast shadows on panels may require trimming to prevent shading and maximize sunlight exposure.
  • Urban environments with higher levels of air pollution or industrial activity may result in faster dirt and debris accumulation on solar panels, requiring more frequent cleaning and maintenance.

So, as discussed above, homeowners should monitor the performance of their solar panel system regularly and adjust the maintenance schedule as needed based on observed changes in energy production or environmental conditions.

Cost Of Maintaining Solar Panels

Investing in solar panels involves the initial cost and ongoing maintenance expenses to ensure their efficiency and longevity. Understanding the cost of maintaining solar panels is essential for making informed decisions and maximizing the return on your investment. 

Check out the table below to know how much you can expect to pay for different services for a 10-panel 2kW solar system. 




$150 and $330


$150 to $300

Branch Removal

$50 – $200

Leak Fixing 

Up to $1,500

Inverter Repair

Up to $3,000

Glass Fixing

$120/panel onwards

Panel Fixing

$150 – $500 per panel


Up to $400

Note: These are the average costs, as per the market average. We encourage you to contact your solar company or a qualified technician for the exact pricing. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How often do solar panels need to be cleaned?

Solar panels should typically be cleaned every 1-3 months, but the frequency can vary based on location, weather conditions, and the surrounding environment.

Is it considered safe to use a pressure washer on solar panels?

Using a pressure washer on solar panels is generally not recommended, as it can damage them or void warranties. Gentle cleaning with a soft brush or sponge and mild detergent is preferred to avoid potential harm.

Do I need to turn off solar panels to clean?

It is not necessary to turn off solar panels while cleaning them. However, for safety reasons, it’s advisable to avoid cleaning during peak sunlight hours and to follow any specific guidelines provided by the manufacturer or installer.

How Much Money Do You Save From Solar Panels?

The money you save from solar panels varies depending on system size, location, and energy usage. Solar panels could save the average household nearly $1,500 annually on electricity expenses.

A solar-saving calculator can provide a personalized estimate by considering your current electricity costs, space available for solar panels, and monthly electricity consumption.

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