Top 10 Mistakes in Residential Solar Maintenance and How to Avoid Them

If you are still waiting for the day when solar power will become a major player in the world of energy, the time for waiting may be over.

These days, the United States solar power industry alone generates more than $21 billion in revenue every single year. More than 700 solar power companies are scattered throughout the United States to keep up with the demand for solar power.

As solar power continues becoming more popular, people will learn more about maintaining their solar systems. However, some mistakes in residential solar maintenance are far too common.

Some of these mistakes will only diminish the benefits that you get out of your solar system. Others can do serious damage to your system and cost you a lot of money in expensive repairs.

So what are some of the most common mistakes that people make when taking care of their residential solar systems? Read on to learn about these mistakes and how to avoid them with your solar panels!

1. Ignoring Solar Panel Maintenance

One of the most common mistakes people make is never doing any kind of maintenance for their residential solar panels. Many people are attracted to solar panel systems because they hear that they require so little maintenance. However, there is a big difference between little maintenance and no maintenance.

Your solar panels are robust and will last for many years while requiring little care. As long as you perform the necessary maintenance, you can enjoy the incredible benefits of solar power for only a few minutes of work each month. When you get your solar panel system, resolve that you will take care of it.

Even if you usually find that your solar panels are in perfect condition and do not require any attention, do not allow that to make you complacent. Keep checking up on them occasionally and taking care of any issues that arise.

2. Waiting Too Long to Schedule Solar Panel Repairs

When you discover a problem with your solar panels, it is important to schedule repairs quickly. Some homeowners detect a minor problem and decide to wait until it gets bigger before they call for help. However, this is precisely the wrong strategy to use.

When your solar panel systems first develop a small problem, that problem will be easy and affordable to repair. There is also a good chance that your warranty will take care of it.

On the other hand, the longer you wait, the more even a tiny problem will tend to develop into a large one.

In some cases, a growing problem with your solar panels will also affect other parts of your solar system. That means that waiting too long to schedule a simple repair job can lead to multiple more expensive repair jobs down the road.

In the long run, your solar maintenance costs will be much lower if you schedule repairs when your solar panels only have minor issues that need attention.

3. Not Cleaning Solar Panels Regularly

Although solar panels do not require much maintenance, they need some basic cleaning.

After all, the whole point of your solar panels is that they collect energy from the rays of the sun. That means anything that can block sunlight from reaching your solar panels can keep them from absorbing as much energy as possible.

That can be as simple as dirt or dust on your solar panels. In such cases, you can often restore your solar panels to total capacity by wiping them off with a soft cloth. You might also need to remove leaves, sticks, and other debris in some cases.

4. Using Harsh Cleaners on a Residential Solar System

Some people do not take solar panel maintenance seriously enough, while others put too much into it. Although your solar panels require cleaning, do not make the mistake of using intense and abrasive cleaning products on them.

Your solar panels must maintain a smooth surface so sunlight can pass easily through them. If you use an abrasive cleaning product or tool on your solar panels, you can end up scratching the surface.

Some people use abrasive cleaners on their solar panels because they can tell they only leave tiny marks on them. However, those slight scuffs and scratches will build up over the years. In the long run, you might need to pay for replacement solar panels years ahead of schedule because of rough cleaning methods.

Even if your solar panels have developed a significant amount of dirt, a simple soap and water solution should be more than enough to clean them. Again, use a soft cloth as you clean your solar panels.

5. Failing to Account for Shade

Some people think that their solar panels are wearing out when what is really happening is that they are becoming blocked by shade. If your solar panels look pristine, it can be easy to assume that you can do nothing to improve their performance. However, solar panels last so many years that tree branches sometimes grow to cover them.

This can be difficult to detect if there are branches that are only creating shade for your solar panels at certain hours of the day. Take a close look at all the branches above your solar panels.

If any of them seem like they might be blocking the sun from hitting your solar panels during any hour of the day, then you should take the time to remove them. Of course, that may mean hiring professionals to help you in some cases.

6. Failing to Develop a Solar Maintenance Routine

Some people start out excited about providing outstanding care for their solar panels. However, this enthusiasm can wane over the years. It is often better only occasionally inspect your solar panels if you make sure to do so consistently.

Your solar panels only need an occasional inspection and cleaning. So focus on checking up on them once every month or so, and stick to your routine.

7. Ignoring Energy Production Numbers

You can often tell that something is going wrong with your solar panels by looking at your energy production numbers. Keep track of how much energy your solar panels produce over time. If you notice unusual drops in energy production, make a special inspection of your solar panels.

If the problem persists, get in touch with your solar panel providers. They may be able to provide you with helpful advice or come out to inspect and repair your solar panels.

8. Letting Solar Panels Overload

Some people are shocked to find out that solar panels can get too much sun. Your solar panels have a specific capacity for handling energy. If they are exposed to too much sun, that can shorten their lifespan.

Check your manual to find out the rated capacity of your solar system. Then, check the load on sunny days to ensure your solar panels are not overloaded.

9. Failing to Schedule Inspections

You might want to schedule an inspection for your solar panels every year or so. Although they do not require much maintenance, the occasional problem can still crop up.

As long as you have professionals giving them an occasional inspection, you should be able to catch any subtle problems before they develop into anything more serious. You can find the best solar company here to help with installation and inspections.

10. Forgetting About the Inverter

Some people focus so much on the solar panels themselves that they forget about the rest of their solar system. Your inverter is just as essential when it comes to providing your home with power.

If you notice sudden drops in your energy production numbers, keep in mind that the problem might be with your inverter or another component of your solar system. Even if the solar panels look like they are in perfect condition, it is vital to consider the rest of the system.

Avoid the Most Common Mistakes in Residential Solar Maintenance

In most ways, taking good care of your residential solar system is simple and does not require much time.

As long as you can avoid the most common mistakes in residential solar maintenance, you can enjoy a solar system that provides plenty of power without causing a headache at the same time. With proper care, your solar power system will pay for itself over the years.

To learn more about the latest information in solar power, business, and more, take a look through our other articles!