If you’re considering buying solar panels, you’ll be pleased to hear they’re relatively easy to look after. Plus, if you give your system a bit of tender love and care, it will reward you with roughly 30 years of solar energy in return.
Despite solar panels being pretty low maintenance, there are still a handful of things to keep a watchful eye on. In this article, we’ll take you through the do’s and don'ts of solar maintenance – just scroll down to find out more.
But we all know there will come a time when repairs just won’t do the job anymore. Wear and tear will eventually slow down your panels, and when they come to a resounding halt, it’s time to look into getting a sparkly new system. This is where we come in.
All you need to do is tell us a little bit about your home, and we’ll pass this on to our suppliers. Once they have this information, they can provide you with a free quote for a solar panel system, perfectly matched to your house. What’s more, this will only take a couple of minutes out of your day – it’s that easy!
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Solar panel maintenance
Solar panels have no moving parts, which makes them relatively low maintenance. But if you want to squeeze every ounce of life out of your panels, you’ll need to look after them. Here are a few things that you should do to keep your panels in tip-top condition:
Solar panel maintenance checklist
- Get your panels serviced
- Clean your solar panels
- Remove potential dangers
- Keep solar panels out of the shade
- Make sure the inverters are flashing green
- Check the day-to-day performance
How do you maintain solar panels?
- Get your panels serviced – We recommend that you do this at least once a year. This way, you can keep on top of any nasty financial surprises, whilst making sure that your panels are generating enough power to save money on your bills
- Clean your solar panels – Your panels need cleaning about twice a year. In the summertime, you’ll want to make sure you remove any dust or pollen from your panels, whilst in the winter, you should look out for any snow or debris. The most effective way to clean your solar panels is with a hose and a bucket of soapy water. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t use any type of high-pressure water sprayer when washing off your solar panels, as this can often lead to damage
- Remove potential dangers – Any overhanging branches should be cleared to remove any threats to the panels, such as falling branches or bird poo
- Keep solar panels out of the shade – Your panels' energy production becomes inefficient if they're hidden from that precious sunlight
- Make sure the inverters are flashing green lights – When the light on your inverters is flashing green, it means there are no glitches of faults in your solar energy system. If they are not flashing, it could mean there’s an underlying issue that might end up costing you a lot if left untouched
- Check the day-to-day performance of your panels – Make sure to track how much energy has been generated at the same time each day, as this will help you identify any problems quickly
How much do repairs cost?
Repair costs will vary, depending on what exactly needs fixing. A lot of manufacturers will provide a guarantee for 10+ years, but in reality, the panels themselves will often last between 20 and 30 years. But there are a few things that may need replacing along the way.
The inverter usually needs replacing every 10 years. The lifespan of your inverter, however, will depend on a range of things, including the potential power output, its conversion efficiency, and the type you go for.
Generally, you can expect to be forking out anything from £500-£1,500 to replace your inverter. Thankfully, if you look after your solar panels, you should only have to pay for this once every decade.
One way you can look after your solar panel system is to get it serviced at least once a year. Although a service will set you back around £100, it will also prevent any possible future issues for your system, and hopefully, lead to 30 long years of solar-soaking panels.
What is solar panel servicing?
So, we’ve established that you need to have your panels serviced at least once every year, but what exactly happens during a servicing? Well, a professional installer will come to your house and inspect your solar panel system. After performing a few visual checks on the panels themselves, the installer should carry out a few tests on the inverters and the meter.
Essentially, getting your solar panel system serviced puts your mind at ease, and makes sure that everything is running smoothly. This way, you can rest easy knowing your panels are in great shape, and can carry on saving you money on your energy bills.
Top tips for solar panel maintenance
- If mounting your roof to clean your panels isn’t an option for you, you can install automated cleaners that work like sprinkler systems. You can also hire a professional to come to your house to carry out the clean
- Avoid DIY solar installations. Enlisting a professional installer is less likely to result in any dodgy complications
- Placement is everything. If you’ve done your research on solar panels, you’ll know that these solar-soaking sheets love wide open spaces. Avoid shade, remove any overhanging tree branches, and make sure they’re in view of that wonderful sunshine. You’ll also want your panels to be placed at an angle – this way, any rain and debris will slide right off
- Think about the long-term. We know solar panel repairs can be costly, but try to avoid any quick fixes. By spending more on that new inverter, rather than repairing it over and over, you’re likely to save more money in the long-run
UK weather and solar panels
According to manufacturers’ standards, 25°C is the optimum temperature for solar panels to operate – so the UK summertime is the prime time for your panels.
However, the UK is also notoriously drizzly, which can affect your panels if they’re not installed properly. To make sure your panels are generating the most energy possible, make sure your panels are installed at an angle so that any rain runs off smoothly, whilst also dislodging any stray debris.
Luckily, most areas of the UK aren’t prone to getting much snowfall in the winter. Though this is bad news for sledging fanatics, it’s great news for solar panel owners, saving on repair and maintenance costs massively.
What’s the verdict?
Overall, the average solar panel system isn’t very high maintenance. Admittedly, it will end up costing you at least £100 a year for the annual service, plus any costs for cleaning equipment.
While these costs can’t go ignored, the savings you’ll see from solar panels over the years will make it a worthwhile investment. Plus, the need for repairs is typically quite infrequent.
If you think your solar panels are approaching their twilight years, perhaps now’s the time to consider getting a new system. This can seem intimidating, especially if you’re used to your current panels – but we’re here to help.
Tell us a little bit about your home and we’ll pass it on to our suppliers. Once they have this information, they can match your home with the perfect set of panels.