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Solar Panel Maintenance Costs in 2020

October 20, 2020

Before deciding whether you should install solar panels onto your home’s roof, you may wonder about the necessary upkeep and maintenance costs. Good news! Solar panels are a long term investment that requires very little home maintenance or upkeep to provide you cost-effective solar energy for up to 25 years, which is absolutely a win for your wallet.

However, there are a few things to consider when introducing solar panels onto your home when it comes to preventative maintenance and repairs. We’ll outline common solar panel maintenance tasks in today’s blog and how much they usually cost to achieve. This way, you’ll be able to make the best decision possible when deciding to invest in solar power.

Solar Panels Break-Even in an Average of 3 years graphic

Yearly Inspections & Solar Panel Cleaning Services

While solar panels typically require very little maintenance outside of what you visually see, you should professionally inspect and clean your home’s solar panels annually. Doing this ensures that your panels aren’t suffering from any hard-to-see degradation, cracks, debris buildup, or other damage. If you want to ensure that your solar panels have a full and healthy lifespan, maximizing your investment, these routine inspections and cleanings are critical. 

Solar Panel Inspection Costs

The national average cost of solar panel inspections, with trained professionals, ranges from $150-$300. Expert inspections ensure that you’re gaining the maximum return on your solar power investment. In-person assessments conducted by professionals typically focus on functionality and efficiency while searching for damages requiring repair work. 

From top to bottom, qualified inspections need to be thorough, taking into account mounting systems, panel framework, and module clamps, alongside your junction boxes, display meters, and searching for moisture penetration or corrosion. Inspectors also use on-site records and reference statistics to monitor your panels’ output and evaluate their overall performance and efficiency. It’s also essential to check for any instability or misalignments within your framing system. 

For a few hundred bucks a year, annual inspections ensure that your solar panels output the necessary energy to power your home and provide a sound energy investment

Solar Panel Cleaning Costs

The national average of professionally cleaning home solar panels costs $150-$330. Now, these prices can certainly fluctuate based on the amount of the work required, size of the solar panels, location, and the height and slant of your roof. Per panel billing can range anywhere from $15-$35 a panel. You’ll want to make sure that you schedule cleanings annually and after any extreme weather conditions such as a rare New England hurricane, to ensure efficient and safe solar panel usage. 

While solar panel cleaning costs are relatively inexpensive, it can be a complex task to take on. Professionals are careful to reference your particular panels’ cleaning and maintenance guide while working, so be sure to have that on hand. Professional cleaners also need to take special care not to damage the delicate nature of home solar panels by using only clean water and a sponge to wash the panels in circular motions gently. Expert cleaners also take special care not to use potentially harmful chemicals and cleaning solutions. 

While you may wish to clean your home’s solar panels yourself, we strongly discourage it. Unless done by a trained professional, solar power cleaning tasks can be complicated and even dangerous, if mishandled. Solar panels are sensitive, and the slightest misstep can cause expensive damage, hurting your wallet and your energy investment. Professional solar panel experts can also perform quick inspections while they clean, informing you of any potential damages or necessary repairs and replacements. 

Note: If you do decide to clean your solar panels on your own, it’s crucial that you NEVER use soap, as it can leave a visible residue and can cause dirt to stick and build up on your panels.

Solar Panel Professional Cleaning Costs Graphic

Potential Solar Panel Repair Costs

Performing the above cleaning and inspection work regularly, you may never need to make any solar panel repairs or replacements. However, severe weather conditions and unfortunate circumstances do happen. You should keep yourself informed of potential solar repair work costs and factor it into your home energy budget. 

If routine inspections and cleaning do find that your solar panels require maintenance or repair work, it’s essential to try and get those tasks accomplished as soon as possible. Neglecting to fix broken or malfunctioning solar panel equipment or components will severely reduce your panels’ energy output, damaging your solar investment. Additionally, ignoring repair work can potentially cause more expensive damages and even fires if not properly handled. 

Solar panel owners typically spend an average of $714 when repairing solar panels, but depending on the type of damage, replacements, or labor necessary; this number can fluctuate. 

According to fixr.com, most visible repair work such as broken glass, obstructing branches, cracked panels, or corrosion runs roughly from $20-$350. Broken inverters or damaged tiling, however, can cost up to $3,000 to repair or replace. 

How Can I Tell If Solar Panels Require Maintenance?

While you should be able to visually see if your solar panels require cleaning, repair, or replacement work, the best way to check-up on your panels is to monitor your solar energy output regularly. Random drops or inconsistent readings indicate that a component may be malfunctioning and in need of repair or replacement. 

There are various factors that you should consider when installing or maintaining your home solar panels. Your location, roof pitch, and system size all factor into the cost of owning solar energy. You’ll also want to monitor your home’s environment, specifically trees and their branches growing near or above your roof. Trees can cast shade onto your panels, causing a drop in energy output, or can even potentially fall onto your roof, causing extensive damage to your home and solar panels.

How to Tell if Solar Panels Require Maintenance Graphic

Solar Investment: Warranties & Budgeting

While it’s crucial to consider everything outlined and explained in today’s blog when it comes to solar power budgeting, routine inspections and cleanings are the best solutions to keeping maintenance costs low. With proper care, your solar investment pays for its maintenance and beyond, helping you to produce clean, sustainable energy for your home and the environment for years to come. 

Also, be sure to inspect your brand’s particular warranty carefully. Solar power brands, such as BlueSel’s 25-year warranty, cover most maintenance and repair costs, providing you with peace of mind and consistent, long-term home solar power.