When purchasing solar panels, one of the key things you’ll have to do is maintain them. You can’t just install them and ignore them. Planning for regular maintenance will extend their lifespan. Fortunately, these devices require minimal maintenance. Let’s take a look at solar panel maintenance costs to help you understand what you can expect.
The Cost of Maintaining Solar Panels
The truth is that many things will determine the cost of maintaining your solar panels. You could spend about $400 on average to maintain a 10-panel 2 kW system. Cleaning alone for the same system could cost around $150 while cleaning and inspection could cost about $300 to $700.
The cost of cleaning the solar panels will vary based on the size and complexity of your system. You can choose DIY cleaning, especially if they are ground mounted or you have access to a flat roof. That said, consider professional cleaning if you have installed solar panels on a sloped roof because of the risks involved.
Solar Panel Warranties
Before we go further about solar panel maintenance costs, we must mention that solar panel warranties are important when purchasing your system. These warranties keep the cost of solar maintenance down. During the warranty period, the warranty provider will cover the cost of servicing the solar panels, defects, replacing damaged parts, etc.
Although all solar providers offer a warranty, they vary in period and what they cover. That’s why you should ask the solar provider which warranties they offer and what they cover. Most warranties will cover solar panel performance, equipment failure and defect, maintenance, and workmanship.
You should also ask how long the warranties will last. In most cases, the warranties last between 25 and 30 years. Check if the company will service arrays out of warranty. In some cases, they might, but at a cost. Ask about this cost before making a decision.
The Difference Between Manufacturer and Installer Warranties
When we talk about warranties, there are manufacturer and installer warranties. Solar panel manufacturers offer performance and product warranties. Performance warranty guarantees customers that the panel will keep producing a certain power percentage through the warranty period.
On the other hand, the product warranty protects you from any defects caused by poor workmanship during manufacturing. The manufacturer can replace or repair the product if it malfunctions during this period.
Installer warranties are additional warranties offered by the solar installation company. For example, at Simple Solar, we offer a 25-year warranty that covers workmanship and materials used, labor and shipping, and free maintenance during the warranty period. Learn more about our warranties here.
The bottom line is that warranties keep the solar panel maintenance cost down, ensuring your unit is well-maintained and performs efficiently.
Factors That Affect the Cost of Solar Panel Maintenance
Several things will determine how much you spend on solar system maintenance. They include the following.
Size of the Solar Panels
The more solar panels you have installed, the more it will cost you to maintain them. For instance, cleaning ten solar panels is cheaper than cleaning 20. The location also matters, as it’s easier to clean or maintain ground-mounted solar panels than those installed on the roof.
Frequency of Maintenance
Solar panels only need little maintenance to keep working. In fact, you don’t need to do much unless external forces damage them, are improperly installed, or have defective parts. That said, the cost will be higher if you schedule maintenance regularly in a year.
The Condition of the Solar Panels
During the inspection, the professionals may find some panels damaged. If that’s the case, then your maintenance cost will depend on the nature of the damage and whether that damage is covered under your warranty.
Average Cost of Solar Panel Maintenance
Here is a breakdown of what maintenance entails and what it might cost you.
Solar Panel Inspection
The annual cost of inspecting the solar panels is about $150 to $300. During this service, the technicians check the system’s overall performance and conduct a visual inspection to check for damage, frame corrosion, moisture penetration, mounting system, etc. This is to ensure everything is in good condition, and if not, inform you to plan for repairs.
Solar Panel Cleaning
The average cost of cleaning is between $150 to $330. A few things like the house height, number of panels, and roof slant determine the cleaning cost. If you have fewer units mounted on the ground, you’ll pay less than a person with units mounted on the roof. Cleaning solar panels can be a DIY task. Just be careful and use the right cleaning materials to avoid injuries or damaging the panels.
Solar Panel Repair
The solar panel maintenance costs will be around $50 to $3000, based on the issue. Keep in mind that a damaged unit doesn’t perform optimally. It’s best to address the damage as soon as possible. Issues with loose wiring can cost between $100 to $400, while major issues like damaged inverters can cost between $500 to $3000.
Solar Panel Replacement
The cost of replacing solar panels is higher compared to repair costs. You can pay between $15,000 to $21,000 for replacement. The actual cost will depend on the number of units to be replaced. Don’t let that figure scare you, as solar panels often exceed their lifespan. In fact, you only need to replace them if the damage is beyond repair.
How Often Do Solar Panels Require Maintenance?
Solar panels require cleaning and inspection once or twice a year. On-site conditions will determine how often you clean the solar panels. You may have to clean more often if you live in an area with a lot of dust, like the desert or near a construction site. In addition, monitor the system’s output regularly. If you notice random drops in output, you may need repairs.
Keep Your Solar Panels Well Maintained with Simple Solar
Now that you know the cost of maintaining your solar panels, when was the last time you had them inspected? Get in touch with the team at Simple Solar to learn more about maintenance.