It’s no secret that solar energy is booming in the U.S., with markets expanding in virtually every state. Falling prices for rooftop solar make it easy for property owners to take charge of their own energy production fast—but that doesn’t mean the change is always intuitive.
If you’re like many people with new solar panels, you may be wondering how to maintain your new investments. After all, because they’re exposed to the elements, won’t you have to worry about weather damage to your solar panels?
Fortunately, solar panel protection is easier than it sounds. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about maintaining your new investment.
Understanding the Durability of Solar Panels
Before we jump in, it’s important to note that solar panels are built to last for decades—and that includes withstanding normal weather patterns in your area. Manufacturers test them to make sure they can stand up to everything from snow to stormy skies. Even better, you’ll need to perform very little solar panel maintenance and upkeep, meaning that you don’t have to worry about their efficiency after storms and bad weather.
However, it’s worth noting that some severe weather conditions can impact your units’ long-term performance or even cause solar panel damage.
How to Protect Your Solar Panels from Weather Damage
If you’re gearing up for severe weather in your area, the chances are good that you’ll need to do a little solar panel maintenance. Here are a few good places to start:
Install the System Right
Even the most expensive and durable solar panels in the world can’t make up for a shoddy installation. Make sure to partner with an expert like the team at Blue Raven Solar for your installation, as the placement, orientation, and mounting of your solar panels will make a huge difference in their ability to withstand your local climate.
Keep the Panels Clean
Not only are clean solar panels better at absorbing sunlight, but they’re also better protected. Severe weather like snow or hail can cause dirt, soot, debris, and other contaminants to rub against the surface of the panel, causing scratches and other imperfections that impact performance.
Get Protective Covers
If your area is prone to hailstorms, protective covers can help. Many solar companies design their own protective coverings for consumer use. You can also install clear plexiglass covers, although these can lower your solar panels’ overall performance.
Reduce the Snow Load
If you live in an area with extreme snowfall, or if you’ve endured a storm that brought more snowfall than your area tends to get, your solar panels may be at risk. Sliding snow from rooftop avalanches can cause damage, so clearing away the snow is a good idea. Alternately, consider installing a snow guard where dense snow accumulates in order to hold it back.
Trim Your Trees
Even if storm winds can’t affect your solar panels, they can still wreak havoc via your nearby trees. If waving tree limbs—or even falling branches—have the opportunity to scratch your solar cells, they can impact your panels’ ability to absorb sunlight. Call an expert to cut back your trees at least once per year.
Invest in Long-Term Solar Panel Protection
Your solar panels can serve you for decades—as long as you treat them right. Though they require a bit of regular maintenance, the simple solar panel protection tactics above can help you keep these devices running for years to come. Be sure to consult with a local expert for tips and tricks that are specific to your area!
Want more insights on making the most of your home investments? Be sure to take a look at our other content.