Are Solar Panels High Maintenance?

Are Solar Panels High Maintenance?

In recent years, there has been a growing number of homeowners in the Sacramento Area investing in solar rooftops, a technology-cum-home-improvement that significantly reduces their energy cost and environmental impact. If you need solar panel installation or want to get a free quote, visit All Year Heating and Air or call us at 916-922-7796.

Despite the countless benefits of solar rooftops, people still want to know if solar panels are high maintenance. For this question, the answer is a resounding “NO.”

Solar panels need very little maintenance to function, only requiring periodic cleaning (usually every 6-8 months) to ensure they are not covered with dried leaves, branches, dirt and other debris that block the sun’s rays.

And if there is no nearby tree, excessive pollution and dirt, you can even let nature take its course–i.e., let the rain wash off the dust. While this “lazy hack” doesn’t completely eliminate manual cleaning, living in a region with frequent rainfalls means less work for you. (Several studies have shown that a bit of dust has no or very little on the energy generated by the panels.)


Related articles: Guide to Solar Energy and Home Performance | Why Should I Consider Solar Energy For My (Sacramento) Home?


Solar panels for home

The cost of solar panel installation for homes depends on multiple factors such as the roof size, the household’s electricity needs, the state or city’s solar tax credit, the accessories used with panels (battery vs. non-battery unit), etc. However, based on the energy consumption of the average US household, which is around 877 kilowatt-hours per month, most homes will probably need 19-23 solar panels.

As of this writing, the cost of solar panel installation in California ranges between $11,730 and $15,870, or $2.35-$3.17 on a cost per watt basis.

If you’re still not sure if solar panels are a worthwhile investment, take note that the average payback period (i.e., how long to recoup their cost) is six to 10 years. Meanwhile, most brands today are expected to last 20-25 years; however, it doesn’t mean that after this period the panels will entirely stop functioning.

After 20-25 years, the solar panels may still work, although their efficiency might be significantly reduced.


Climate and weather

Solar panels are perfect in the Greater Sacramento Area because of its sunny, Mediterranean climate, receiving around 3,608 hours of sunlight every year. Meanwhile, household cooling costs skyrocket during summer as people battle the sweltering heat.

Due to the favorable climate in the Sacramento Area and the increasing price of electricity–California’s electricity rate is 12% higher than the national average–solar panel installation is a worthwhile investment.


Solar panel maintenance: Periodic cleaning

While there are professional solar panel cleaners you can hire, you can clean them yourself if you want to save money. But if you lack safety gear and your roof is steep and high, it’s best to leave the task to the professionals.


Should you decide to do your DIY cleaning, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Your safest bet is to use a hose, soapy water and a soft cloth.
  • Avoid abrasive cleaners, pressure washers or anything that can damage your panels.
  • Use mild cleaners like a mild liquid detergent mixed with water and vinegar.
  • As a general rule, wash your solar panels as gently as you would with your car.
  • Turn off your solar panel unit before cleaning it.
  • If you don’t want to leave hard water stains, use a high-quality squeegee to dry your solar panels.


Related articles: Guide to Solar Energy and Home Performance | Why Should I Consider Solar Energy For My (Sacramento) Home?


Final Word on Solar Panels

Solar panels can help you save money in the long run, especially if you live in California and other states that offer tax breaks and other financial incentives that promote the use of this clean energy source.

Read more about the benefits of solar panel installation for homes and businesses, or us at any of these numbers:

Sacramento phone: (916) 922-7796
Fax message: (916) 922-7835
Roseville: (916) 722-4006
El Dorado County: (530) 677-1117
Placer County: (916) 624-2124