Do my solar panels for my HWS need to be cleaned?

    Hot water alone accounts for about 25% of a household’s energy use and solar can save you up to 75% of that. Solar panels are low maintenance, with very few movable parts, that aren’t prone to rust and are built to last. There are also things you can do to keep your system running efficiently and to help prolong its lifespan.

    Keeping the area around your solar system clean and free of debris is a great start.  Thick layers of dust, stray leaves and bird excrement build up over time and can make it difficult for the panels to absorb sunlight, reducing their overall efficiency.  You can use a soft brush or cloth to gently remove any build-up on the panels. Be careful not to scratch the surface.  Washing them with the hose should also remove most of the dirt and dust, but if the grime is built up you might consider contacting a professional plumber to have them cleaned manually. 

    Visually inspecting the solar panels monthly is a good idea, as well as getting a professional to service them every 3-5 years.  A technician will check the whole system for wear and tear, clean the unit and refill/replace the fluid inside them if it is low.  Make sure to check the tank regularly for rust and corrosion and also flush the tank every few months to remove any accumulated sediment.   

    If you have any concerns about your system don’t hesitate to call a professional as what seems like a minor issue now could quickly evolve into something more.  By following these simple tips your solar hot water system should last you decades and save you thousands of dollars for years to come.