If you’ve just installed your own solar energy system, you’ll likely be a little nervous about how to maintain your panels. However, this comprehensive guide will show you exactly what you need to do to maintain your solar panels. You can also keep an eye on your energy output with an app. If you’ve noticed a decrease in energy output, this may be an indication that something is obstructing your panels.

The solar panel’s degradation rate is a good indicator of how old your system is. A solar panel with a low degradation rate will retain 90% of its original efficiency, while one with a higher degradation rate will only keep about 80% of its efficiency. Manufacturers of solar panels offer warranties. Equipment warranties cover manufacturer defects. Performance warranties, on the other hand, work like a car’s mileage-based warranty. Performance warranties cover the system for a fixed period or until it produces a specific amount of energy. Authorized installers provide enhanced warranties, which cover the shipping and installation cost of replacement parts.

It’s important to schedule solar panel maintenance as needed, depending on your location and dirt accumulation rate. You can contact a solar installer to clean your panels for you, or schedule annual maintenance. A contractor can also clean them for you. Make sure to read your warranty before you begin cleaning your solar panels. Most solar panels don’t need to be cleaned more than once a year, but it’s always best to be prepared and avoid problems.

Your location determines the size of your DIY solar system. Homes in Texas get more sun than homes in Minnesota, which means that a larger solar system will benefit your home. However, you should consider your electricity consumption when sizing your solar system. A DIY solar guide will help you decide what size system to purchase. The Complete Guide to Solar System Maintenance For Homeowners

Before you start any maintenance, you should make sure you know what type of equipment you’re getting. Many solar panels come with an industry standard warranty, ranging from ten to twenty years. A good warranty means quality equipment. It’s also important to establish who will be responsible for keeping your system running. Most installers offer competitive O&M plans for host owned systems. And remember that you must always read and follow manufacturer’s instructions.

Clean your solar panels regularly. The most basic maintenance is cleaning the panels once a week. Clean your solar panels with soapy water and a dry brush. However, you should avoid using a pressure washer because it may cause damage to your solar panels. You can also hire a solar cleaning company to clean your solar panels for you. If you do not feel confident in your own skills, consult with the manufacturer before you clean the panels.

If you’re interested in building a DIY solar system, you’ll want to know how much electricity you use in a year. Look at your utility bill and make note of how many kWh you use on a monthly basis. Divide that number by 12 to see how much you use over the course of the year. And remember, seasons can influence electricity use, so your latest electric bill may not be the best guide for your DIY solar system.

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