Does a residential solar panel require a lot of maintenance? At OhSolarmio, we frequently get asked this question. Given the rooftop location of most panels, it’s understandable why homeowners would be worried about climbing onto the roof.

A routine cleaning and maintenance program is necessary to get maximum productivity from your panels. The presence of dust and dirt can reduce the panels’ output by up to 5%. This will reduce the amount of solar power you generate.

Luckily, seasonal snowmelt and rain will wash off much of the debris that may accumulate on the panels. However, if your area receives very little precipitation but has ample dust and wind, you must adhere to a cleaning schedule.

Here are few tips for cleaning your residential solar panels:

- Use a secure ladder with ample fall protection to access your roof.
- Before commencing with any cleaning, turn the system off.
- Do not use mineral rich water or hard tap water to clean the panel. This can damage it over time. Use de-ionized or distilled water instead.
- Use a squeegee or a soft brush. Avoid using pads, powders or abrasive brushes.
- Head up to the roof in the evening or early in the morning, when it’s cool up there. If you clean the panels in the afternoon, the heat may cause the water to evaporate too quickly, leaving soap residue behind.
- If you plan to use a high pressure water nozzle, avoid getting too close to the panels.
- Opt for an environmentally friendly soap. Speak to your installer about which product to use for cleaning.
- If you are unable to clean your rooftop panels by yourself, consider hiring a professional solar panel cleaning service.
- Always keep an eye on your panels. Conduct a routine monthly inspection of your panels for dust build-up.
- Your panels need to be cleaned at least twice a year, sometimes more depending on where you reside.

To learn more about residential solar panels and how to maintain it, get in touch with OhSolarMio today.