Cleaning Your Solar System
Congratulations on going solar! Whether your installation occurred last week or many years ago, it is important to know how to keep the panels clean to maximize production and cost savings. While rain is helpful in keeping the system clean, it is recommended that you clean the array(s) every few years. It is especially important if you live in an area with a lot of dust, pollen, birds, leaves, pine needles, or if there has been a recent fire. Moreover, you can check your system’s production to determine whether it is time to clean the panels.
Consider contacting the manufacturer or the installer for specific cleaning instructions. Please keep in mind that panels can be very hot during the middle of the day so cleaning in the morning or evening is suggested.
The best and most convenient way to clean your system is to hire a professional cleaning service. As solar has grown around the world, so have auxiliary services like panel washing companies. There are a few quality companies servicing the Central Coast that you can find with a simple Google search. The cost is typically $100-$200 depending on the specifics of your system like roof pitch and number of arrays.
If you feel comfortable getting on your roof, you can clean the system yourself. A hose and a non-abrasive rag will suffice. Using distilled or deionized water is best but municipal water works fine. Using soap isn’t recommended as it can leave a film or residue that not only shades panels, but it can also encourage dirt to stick and build up faster. The most important thing is to not scratch the glass! Another critical note is that spraying cold water on hot glass can lead to cracking so make sure to clean in the morning or in the evening when temperatures are lower.
Due to the large number of inquiries we’ve received about how to clean solar panels, we made a short video with some helpful tips. Please exercise extreme caution if you decide to clean your own system.