Ok, all the hard work is done. You’ve researched panels and inverters, sought out a few different quotes [hopefully from us *wink * ] and finally made that big decision to go solar.

Now what? Well, you could look at the panels from a real “set and forget” point of view, but you might be compromising the amount of energy that your panels can absorb and be converted in to energy, which would directly affect how much money your system is saving you.

Keeping your panels well maintained is the key to preserving your energy efficient and effective solar system.

Luckily, solar panels do not have any moving parts that can break or rust, so they require minimal maintenance.

With that in mind, here are a few helpful tips for maintaining your solar panels:

• Ensure that your inverter is flashing green lights, indicating that your panels are working by converting the sun’s rays into energy and saving you money.

• Clean up any branches or obstacles that may be providing unwanted shade on to the panels, which will reduce the amount of lights they will be receiving and therefore reducing the total daily amount of energy produced.

• Track the daily performance of your panels, including overcast, rainy and cloudy days. This will help you to know what an “average” daily output would be and can be a warning sign if the output falls below average.

• Refer to the panels’ manufacturer and installer warranty policy, which may require regular and professional maintenance. If it does, simply jump on line and search for a local maintenance company to perform that service regularly for you. There are plenty of professional, accredited and insured companies out there to choose from.

A couple of times a year it’s beneficial to give your panels a good clean to ensure that any dirt, debris or dust is not accumulating on them. Your panels can be cleaned with the same materials that you’d use on your car or house windows.

• Do not use cold water or hot panels. It’s best to clean them in early morning or late afternoon.
• Avoid using a sponge or rag that is abrasive.
• Do not use harsh cleaning materials that could possibly damage the panels
• Take caution if you need to be on the roof for cleaning.
• Do not step on the panels.
• If you want to be more proactive and clean them on the regular, you can easily get away with simply using your garden hose.
• For safety purposes, a longer handled wiper is recommended.

With panels that are too far out of reach or you don’t have the time or desire to clean them yourself, hiring a professional panel cleaner is another alternative.

You can even install automated cleaners that work like sprinkler systems or even schedule appointments with solar panel cleaning companies.