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What is the upkeep of solar panels?

There is no doubt that solar panels can be of big help in reducing your carbon footprint. But are they really convenient and durable in that they require little to no maintenance? What solar panel upkeep do you need to do? In this guide, we discuss how to maintain the efficiency of your solar energy production.

What do solar panels cost per year?

Good news - the cost of solar panels has dropped significantly in recent years! Let’s break down some of the key factors that can impact the initial cost and calculate their yearly cost as well.

Bigger systems require more material and labour, but their electricity output and savings are also bigger. In a similar way, add-ons can save you money in the long run. These include solar batteries and "pigeon protection". Also keep in mind that a correctly designed solar panel system can reduce costs.

Our free and impartial tool will take some of these factors into account, and our Gurus are happy to discuss the rest! The option to book a (free!) call will be presented to you when using the tool. We help facilitate top quality solar panel installations!

What is solar panel pigeon protection?

Pigeon protection surrounds your panels and prevents birds from roosting beneath them. Prevention is better than cure in this case. It protects you from the possibility of having to pay large repair costs in the future. It also reduces the risk of roof fires and zoonotic diseases. Our Gurus are happy to discuss this if you book a (free!) call with them through our platform.

How much does it cost to pigeon proof solar panels?

Pigeon proofing solar panels costs around £300 per 30 metres. You might need two sets of these (£300 x 2) for bigger arrays, depending on the layout of the array.

How long do solar panels last?

Like all things, solar panels don’t last forever. But the technology has advanced so much that the standard lifespan of solar panels is now between 25 to 30 years! Some systems can last even longer, especially if your roof is in good condition. Continue reading to find out the easiest ways to extend the life of your investment as well as to learn more about warranty.

Do solar panels need to be serviced?

Solar panels are built to last. If installed correctly, your solar panel purchase should need little to no service. You should ensure your installer or solar company is registered with MCS (as MakeMyHouseGreen is) ensuring that the work carried out on your roof has satisfied the requirements of the leading solar trade body. 

A good way to tell if your solar panels need to be serviced is by tracking their performance. A dip in energy output can signal that something is blocking your solar panels from the sun. This could be heavy snow or dirt, for example. You can track your system's performance via your inverter. But even better, as a tech company we’re always developing new features. We are currently working on releasing an app that will display your usage data!

Other solar panel maintenance tips? One thing to note is that solar panels are part of your home’s electric system. Landlords need to inspect and test the electrical installations in their properties at least every 5 years.

Do solar panels break easily?

At first glance, most modern solar panels can appear thin and easily broken. But the way in which their solar cells are arranged makes them sturdy. Your solar panel purchase easily withstands a hail storm or someone accidentally throwing a ball on your roof. 

What makes solar panels tough? The highly tempered glass used for solar panels is much stronger than traditional glass. It’s tempered in a similar way to the glass used to protect phone screens. Some even call it a ‘safe glass’ because it breaks in a way that minimises the risk of cuts and serious injuries. Solar cells, glass, and other parts are then held together by an aluminium frame.

These materials don't break down easily, they do fine even in salty environments. But microcracks can tamper with the efficiency of your solar panel purchase. These are not expected to appear before the very end of the product's lifespan. These cracks to the solar panels, not visible to the naked eye, are often caused by external forces. These could be prolonged heat or thermal shock.

Do solar panels need to be cleaned?

Solar panels perform best when nothing is blocking the sunlight. So, an occasional light cleaning is recommended if you notice that the energy output starts to decrease. It’s how to get the most out of your solar system!

How to clean solar panels

Provided that you can access the roof safely, the quickest way to remove dirt, leaves, and other debris is by using a soft sponge and warm water. If you have window cleaners come by you could also ask them to give your panels a quick wash. Make sure to check with your warranties and insurance provider that personal maintenance activities don't void any of these policies. If in doubt, it’s always best to consult with a qualified professional.

However, the UK is a rainy place. This is great for solar panel maintenance as the rain is likely to do most, or all of the cleaning for you.

What warranties are available for solar panels?

Solar panel systems are guaranteed to function for a minimum amount of time. Just like most electronic products! You should know about three types of warranties:

Our solar panel installs come with a performance guarantee warranty of 25 years. This means that they are guaranteed to output at least 85% of their original output in the first 25 years.

The solar panels normally have a product warranty of 12 years. This protects them from defects that may have occurred in the making of them.

All of our installs come with a five year workmanship warranty. This solar panel warranty covers unexpected issues with the installation, such as a roof tile being misplaced. Rest assured, if anything happens, we will always be on hand to help resolve the situation. Before any final payments are made, you will be asked to confirm if all the work has been done to your satisfaction.

Note that we display all warranties in our solar panel quote packs. In some cases there is an option to extend these warranties as well!

Now that you're an expert on solar panel upkeep you should be in a much better position to make the right choice for your solar panel system. If you would like to learn even more about green home solutions – we've got you covered! Check out our Green Guides or drop one of our friendly Green Home Gurus an email via team@makemyhousegreen.com.

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