Many people forget that cleaning their solar panels is not something that’s entirely left for the rain to do. Although dirt, dust, or pollen can get washed off by the rainfall fairly easily, things like bird droppings and other grime will stick on your panels and won’t wash off that simply. For those in areas where rain is more like a light mist, you might also need to clean your panels more than average.
A common question is: “Do dirt and debris have an impact on the effectiveness of your solar panels? And if so, how much?” Well the answer isn’t as black and white as you’d hope. Yes, dirt and debris can affect how much sunlight gets through to convert the light to energy. But, the amount the efficiency is lowered is arguably insignificant – approximately 5% or less. And, with a typical 5kW solar system, this might equate to about $20 of loss in your energy bill. Not monthly – overall. And generally, even if we are talking about areas with drought, eventually when it does rain, a couple months down the line, everything will be washed away and it might not even be worth it to deal with the hassle of cleaning it in the first place.
Thus, typically let the rain take care of your solar panel cleaning but still monitor your system’s functionality by paying attention to your energy bills and usage month-to-month. If you start to notice changes in your electric bill, maybe it’s time to think about cleaning or some other type of maintenance. If you’re interested in a professionally-done solar panel cleaning, check out our services here.