Solar panels are an excellent way to reduce energy costs, but they don’t come without some additional overhead. Regular cleaning and maintenance are vital to keeping your solar panels functioning correctly.
But how much does it cost to clean solar panels?
Let’s break down the expenses you need to be aware of when keeping your solar panels in tip-top shape.
What Is the Average Cost of Cleaning and Maintaining Solar Panels?
The average cost of cleaning and maintaining solar panels is around $8-25 per panel. Depending on the number of panels you have and the type of panels, such as Rigid Solar Panels or Flexible Solar Panels, that could cost anywhere from $150-300 per visit and around $500-700 annually for basic solar panel cleaning and maintenance.
For more serious maintenance, such as fixing broken panel glass or wiring, that annual average could increase by a few hundred dollars. That said, the exact cost will depend on several factors. A professional solar panel cleaning company should provide clear pricing upfront so you know what to expect before signing any contracts.
What Affects the Solar Panel Cleaning and Maintaining Cost?
A range of $500-700 per year leaves room for variation in price to clean and maintain your solar panels. So, what goes into the total cost? While labor is the highest contributor, aspects such as roof steepness/height, debris buildup, and materials and equipment are all considered when determining the price.
Materials and Equipment
Depending on your solar panel array, you may need to purchase specific materials and equipment to clean them properly.
For example, if you have a glass-paneled system, you’ll need specialized window cleaners or a pressure washer to clean your array thoroughly. In addition, specific brushes can help remove stubborn debris between the panel’s cells. All of these items can add to your overall cost.
Hiring a professional cleaner or installer is often recommended if you’re uncomfortable doing it yourself. It may be tempting to DIY, but — especially with rooftop installations — your personal safety should be paramount. Professional cleaners usually charge by the hour for their services, so keep this in mind when budgeting for your solar panel cleaning needs.
Some installers may provide maintenance services such as cleaning as part of their contract, so inquire if that applies to your situation.
Job complexity also goes into calculating labor costs. If you have installed power kits in an RV with solar panels on top, you can easily unplug the array for a quick clean. But complex systems that integrate with the home electrical circuits may require more time and expertise for the cleaners to do their job thoroughly.
Roof Steepness and Height
If your array is on a steeply pitched roof or at a significant height, you may need to consider additional safety features when budgeting its upkeep. Any type of roofing work is dangerous and physically demanding, and the labor cost reflects these risks.
In addition, cleaners or installers may require special equipment to access the array safely. All these factors add to the overall price tag.
A significant buildup of dirt or debris could require additional labor hours, increasing the overall cost of cleaning and maintenance services. Inspect your array regularly so you can address potential issues quickly before they become more severe and expensive problems.
The geographic area where you live can also affect the overall cost of maintaining your solar array. Some regions may have higher labor rates than others due to local market conditions or the availability of workers with specialized skill sets.
It’s always best practice to get quotes from multiple companies before deciding who should perform any maintenance tasks on your home’s solar panel system.
How Often Should Solar Panels Be Cleaned?
You should clean solar panels every six months, depending on the amount of debris that accumulates and the climate where you live.
If you live in a dry climate, you may not have to clean them as often. However, if you live in an area with higher levels of dust or pollen in the air, you should plan to clean your solar panels more frequently.
Additionally, debris such as bird droppings or tree sap can reduce energy output. You’ll want these removed immediately.
If you live in a climate where snow and ice accumulate, failing to remove it can negatively impact your panels’ efficiency.
What Are the Benefits of Cleaning Solar Panels?
Cleaning your solar panels has several benefits, including improved efficiency, longer lifespan, warranty protection, better appearance, and more. Let’s take a closer look at each one.
Proper Cleaning Water
You have to be careful with the water used in the cleaning process. Hiring a professional ensures they’ll use the right kind of water.
Local water can have a high mineral content, leaving a residue on your panels and eventually reducing their effectiveness. Professional solar panel cleaners only use distilled water that contains no minerals or impurities. Before cleaning your panels, they may bring their own water supply or use tools that filter out unneeded minerals and pollutants.
The Right Equipment
If you have dirt or debris on your panels, it’s time to hire a professional cleaning service. They’ll use the right tools, like power washers or cleaning solutions specifically designed for solar panel cleaning.
Check with the manufacturer before using anything abrasive on the panel surface so you don’t damage it or unintentionally void the warranty.
Keeping your panels clean prolongs their life expectancy and maintains their efficiency over time. Dirt and grime can build up on your panels’ surfaces, reducing their ability to absorb sunlight effectively. If kept in this condition, they won’t produce as much energy as they could if they were clean! Properly maintained and cared for solar panels will last much longer than neglected ones.
Clean photovoltaic (PV) panels capture sunlight more efficiently, leading to higher energy production levels. Cleaning panels ensures more energy production for every kilowatt-hour (kWh) generated by your system. It also means lower utility bills since you won’t need to purchase as much electricity from your local provider!
If you’re relying on your solar panels to work as your whole home backup power solution, routine cleaning to maintain efficiency is worth it.
Most manufacturers offer warranties on their products, but many can become void if proper maintenance isn’t done regularly—including keeping solar panels clean!
Read through any warranty agreement’s fine print before investing in new photovoltaic equipment. Look at the terms for proper upkeep and care to keep the warranty coverage valid.
Keeping your solar panels clean makes them look great! Aesthetics are important, too, when it comes to a property upgrade like solar panels. Having sparkling sun-catching surfaces adds an extra touch of elegance that looks much better than debris-covered, dirty panels.
Many factors affect solar panel cleaning costs, from the amount of dirt and debris to the steepness of your roof.
Investing in regular maintenance typically saves time and money by reducing repair costs or preventing expensive panel replacements, allowing you to enjoy your solar power for years to come — often 25 or more!If you’re ready for the highest efficiency yet in solar panels, consider EcoFlow. With options for rigid, flexible, and portable solar panels and capacities ranging from 110W-400W, you’ll find everything you need to power your home and lower (or eliminate) your electricity bills once and for all.