How often should I clean my solar panels?

How often should I clean my solar panels?

One of the biggest questions we get regarding solar panels in Visalia is, how often do I need to clean my solar panels? Well, it depends on a lot of things really. Do you live in an area with a lot of dust being blown around? Are there any local birds that have claimed residency near you that leave their lunch on your panels? Although the answer will vary from house to house, here are a couple things you can keep in mind that’ll help you decide on the timeframe to clean your solar panels.

Depending on how you answer these questions, you’ll have a good idea of how often you should clean your solar panels:

  1. Where are you located?
  2. What is the tilt angle of your panels?
  3. How much dust is blown around in the air where you live?
  4. What is the electric rate you are being charged?
  5. How much does it cost to clean your panels?

There are a number of reasons why you need to clean your solar panels often. More than likely you are living in the central valley of California. Being the agriculture capital of the world comes with it’s fair share of problems, particularly dust. The dirtier solar panels are, the harder they work to produce energy and your energy output will decrease. Little to no rainfall is also a problem for owners. California has varying levels of rainfall throughout the years and every now and then we enter a drought. Being in a drought puts a strain on the owners as their panels will often accumulate high levels of dust.  With drought conditions and heavy dust, we often see a decrease in production of up to 30%.

Most solar power systems have been installed the cover the electric usage of your home. If they are not producing to cover the capacity that they were designed to, you may end up with a surprise bill from your electric company at the end of the year. To avoid this, you should clean the panels if you see a heavy accumulation of dust, bird droppings, tree sap or anything else that may end up on them.

Depending on where you live, there will be companies that offer monitoring and cleaning services for solar systems. We highly advise that you get yourself on some type of cleaning schedule, especially if you have solar panels in Visalia, Tracy, Patterson, or other dusty areas.

If you have any questions that weren’t answered here, please feel free to reach out to us via email.