7 Mistakes with Residential Solar Maintenance and How to Avoid Them

Mounting solar panels on top of your home is an investment for the long haul. Nearly all solar panels last 25 years and perhaps beyond.

But your investment in a residential solar system isn’t done after you hand over all your money to the contractor. You still have to do your part to make sure your system works.

Want to learn more? Want to avoid mistakes with residential solar maintenance? Then read on!

1. Neglecting Regular Cleaning

Neglecting regular cleaning can greatly inhibit the efficiency of the system and its ability to generate electricity. Panels should be cleaned at least twice a year as dirt and dust can build up, causing a ‘shadow effect’ which reduces the power output of the solar system.

You should also be mindful of snow during the winter; this should be cleared gently or allowed to melt naturally. For those who cannot clean their own panels, there are providers of solar upkeep services available who can be called upon to do it for you.

A basic cleaning kit with a long pole, brush, and hose can also be used to clean solar panels. Regular cleaning and maintenance are essential for the optimal functioning of your residential solar system.

2. Ignoring Shading Issues

If the panels are not placed in an area with sufficient sunlight exposure, they will not reach their full efficiency potential. This is because even a few hours of shading can reduce the energy output of the system significantly. Shading can create dangerous hotspots on the panels, leading to premature failure and potential fire hazards.

To avoid these, homeowners should always ensure their system is placed in an area with full sun exposure for most of the day. If shading is inevitable, it can be periodically monitored to measure its impact on the system. Homeowners should then look into solutions such as using microinverters and optimizers to offset the impact of any shading.

In addition to these, homeowners should make sure to trim surrounding trees that are covering the panels. By doing this regularly and ensuring that the area around the panels is clear, homeowners can help to ensure that the solar panel system functions to its full capacity.

3. Forgetting to Monitor Performance

Solar panel systems need ongoing monitoring to ensure they are operating at peak efficiency. Without regular monitoring, you can be left with poor performance and, eventually, no power from your system.

To avoid this, you should create a schedule for checking your system regularly. You should also keep track of any unusual activities, such as the sudden drop in system efficiency.

Additionally, it is important to schedule preventative maintenance for your system to identify and address any existing or potential issues. If a problem is found and corrected, you will help ensure your solar power system performs as designed.

4. Overlooking Electrical Connections

Making sure all necessary electrical connections are tightly and securely fastened between the solar panel, inverter, and battery are key components of residential solar maintenance. Unfortunately, it is easy to overlook this step when performing monthly upkeep. This leads to potential performance issues with the system.

To avoid overlooking electrical connections when performing residential solar maintenance, it is important to develop a thorough maintenance and inspection checklist to ensure these necessary items are not skipped. This should be performed each month to prevent power loss and other potential problems.

Additionally, it is crucial to check for corrosion regularly, as corrosion on electrical connectors can lead to inadequate contact and a decrease in energy production. Lastly, routinely cleaning the terminals and wires with a corrosion-proof cleaning solution will help to prevent corrosion from becoming a problem.

5. Skipping Inverter Maintenance

Inverters are an essential component of solar power systems. This is because they are responsible for converting direct current received from the solar panels into alternating current that can be used to power appliances and other electrical devices. If not properly maintained, inverters can overheat. This leads to early system failure.

To prevent this, inverter maintenance should be performed regularly. This includes:

  • checking the battery’s voltage
  • internal temperature
  • cleaning vents
  • lubricating moving parts

Additionally, it is important to check the system’s wiring to make sure that it is up-to-date and functioning properly. It is also a good idea to ensure that the panels are receiving adequate sunlight, as this can help to ensure that the system is operating optimally.

6. Neglecting Battery Maintenance

Neglecting solar battery maintenance not only reduces the lifetime of the batteries. It can also damage other solar equipment associated with the system. The first mistake most people make is failing to check their batteries on a regular basis.

Batteries should be checked for any signs of corrosion, damage to the battery terminals, and any other problems. It’s also important to ensure that the battery cells are properly balanced and have the correct charge level for optimum performance. Additionally, it’s important to keep an eye out for any signs of overcharging or draining.

If batteries start to show any signs of these issues, it’s important to have them replaced quickly. Make sure to keep the battery terminals clean and check for leaks near the insulation.

7. Failing to Have Professional Inspections

Many people attempt to inspect and maintain their systems by themselves. However, this should never be done unless they are professionally trained. A professional in this solar panel company here will be able to detect any potential issues. 

This includes corrosion or debris build-up and can recommend ways to correct them. No matter how knowledgeable you are with your system, it is highly advised to seek a professional’s opinion on any potential issues. This will ensure that the system is operating at its optimal level and that no issues are disregarded.

Taking the proper steps for residential solar maintenance is necessary for the longevity of the system, and professional inspections should always be included in the process.

Avoid These Mistakes With Residential Solar Maintenance

To avoid costly and potentially dangerous mistakes with residential solar maintenance, be sure to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Make use of the correct replacement parts or get help from the solar company.

So, don’t wait. Schedule your solar maintenance routine today!

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