How to Clean Your Solar Panels

So you’ve got your brand-new, glimmering Compass Solar solar panels system installed that’s going to power your home for decades and save you thousands on your energy bills in the process.

Now your top priority is keeping your system clean and generating its maximum power output.  

Let’s explore the why and how of solar panel cleaning.

Is regularly cleaning your solar panels necessary?

It depends on a few factors:

  • Pollution. In some areas with low pollution, like our home here in Northwest Florida, you likely won’t need to worry much about air pollution caking onto your solar panels. This isn’t as true in other areas, especially large urban centers with high population densities.
  • Seasonal changes. Weather conditions play a role in keeping your solar panels clean. For example, in the springtime, you might find pollen caked onto your solar panels. During weather months, rain acts as a natural cleansing agent. Again, luckily for us, Northwest Florida gets plenty of rainfall.
  • Solar panel angles. Positioning solar panels at less than a 5-degree angle makes debris accumulation more likely.
  • Proximity to airports or large roadways. Oily grime is more likely to accumulate on your solar panels if your property is adjacent to a major source of carbon emissions.

The good news is that you won’t have to break out the cleaning equipment very often. At most, you should plan to clean your solar panels 2-3 times annually.

Why is keeping your solar panels clean important?

You have two main incentives for keeping your solar panel system clean – form and function:

  • Form: As a property owner who takes pride in the appearance of your home or business, you want to keep things looking tidy. Grime-covered solar panels don’t fit that bill.
  • Function: Our premium solar panels are designed to deliver maximum power in all conditions, but it’s possible that large buildups of debris on your solar panels could impact their performance.

Soap and sponge: the easiest DIY method to clean your solar panels

Soap and sponge is the best way to clean your solar panels on your own without damaging them.

But there are important caveats to keep in mind!

  • The key to avoiding damage to your solar panels using this old-fashioned method is to use a minimal amount of soap. Excessive soap will leave a residue that can negatively impact solar panel function.
  • Windex is an acceptable soap substitute. Ensure that you are using a soft sponge and not an abrasive brush or other material to avoid scratches. If you live near an airport or highway and have a film of grime that won’t respond to the soap and sponge, a rag and isopropyl alcohol should do the job.
  • If your solar panels are hard to reach or you just want a more back-friendly alternative to a sponge, you can opt for a solar panel brush that’s specially designed for sensitive surfaces so as not to damage your expensive equipment.

The two most important things to keep in mind are a.) to take care not to scratch your solar panel glass, as doing so will impair its power production and b.) when rinsing off any excess soapy water, use a bucket of fresh water or a low-pressure garden hose. Never use a pressure washer on your panels.

Contact Compass Solar to learn more about solar panel maintenance

Our work serving our Northwest Florida neighbors doesn’t stop once we’ve installed your solar panel system. We’re here to help you keep your solar panel spic and span and humming along at full capacity.

Contact Compass Solar for the hottest tips to ensure your Compass Solar panels are fully functional and clean all year round.