More U.S. homeowners than ever before say they’re considering adding solar panels, like those provided by DFW Solar Electric, to their home roofs. Read more to learn about extending the life of your rooftop solar panels.
As global climate change concerns rise, many recognize the overwhelming environmental benefit of pursuing alternative, renewable energy sources, even in one’s own home.
Many also recognize the personal economic benefits of adding solar power generation to a home. Not only do solar panels tend to pay for themselves and lower your electric bill for years to come, but research has suggested that they can also boost a home’s resale value by as much as four percent.
Even so, a homeowner may be understandably apprehensive about the idea of a permanent addition to their home’s infrastructure. After all, electricity provided by a typical provider is generated offsite, channeled to homes using publicly or corporately owned electric infrastructure, and is ultimately not the homeowner’s responsibility, whereas solar panels become part of your property.
The outlook for solar panel owners, however, could not be better. With just a little caution and routine maintenance, your solar panels can provide your home with sustainable energy for decades.
Solar Panel Warranties and Longevity
Solar panel longevity (and thus, solar providers’ warranties) can vary, but panels are generally rated to last an average of 25 years. That said, the “25-year” mark is not a steep drop-off, at which point your solar panels spontaneously combust or cease working altogether. Instead, that’s how long solar panel manufacturers can guarantee a certain degree of output efficiency, typically 80 percent of the panels’ original capabilities. After that point, solar panels can still generate and output electricity if well cared for, but gradually lesser.
Unfortunately, the state of current technology means this gradual degradation in effectiveness can’t be stopped entirely. Photovoltaic (solar) cells use an electricity conducting material, typically a silicon-containing compound, to convert energy absorbed from light directly into electricity. The conducting material degrades slowly, however, typically losing .8 percent efficiency each year. Panels from premium manufacturers may last even longer, leading to a longer lifespan at maximum efficiency.
Still, solar panel care is largely within the homeowners’ ability, and you can take many steps to prevent damage or any unnecessary loss of efficiency.
1. Choose your solar provider carefully
The best way to prevent lasting problems with your solar panels is to preempt them completely by choosing a reliable, reputable solar provider like DFW Solar Electric.
Many potential issues with solar panels can be traced to problems with examining your existing roof or installing the panels – problems that DFW Solar Electric can avoid in the first place.
For example: solar panel efficiency is directly related to the amount of sunlight that can directly strike the panels, as close to perpendicular as possible. Ensuring your panels can function properly requires placing them strategically since not every angle of your roof receives direct sunlight for several hours each day.
A reputable solar provider like DFW Solar Electric will also properly vet your roof before installation ever begins. In some cases, a roof may need repairs to existing damage – superficial or structural – before solar panels can be installed safely.
2. Consider your climate
Excess heat can reduce your solar panel system’s energy output in the moment and gradually over time. If you live in a climate with significantly hot summers, like here in North Texas, there are still measures that a solar provider can take to maximize airflow around and between your solar panels. But, again, choosing a trustworthy provider like DFW Solar Electric can ensure these measures are taken to begin with, rather than addressing them later when an issue rears its head.
3. Keep your panels clean and clear
Over time, your solar panels can accumulate debris that could affect their active energy output and could even cause lasting damage. You can help extend your panels’ lives by keeping them clear of leaves, snow, sticks and other debris as much as possible.
4. Mind the trees
Closely related to the previous tip, be mindful of tree branches (especially larger branches) and how close they grow to your roofline and solar panels. Potentially hazardous branches should be addressed by your solar provider before installation and removed if necessary. Still, if new branches grow too close or too heavy, high winds and heavy storms could cause branches to fall or blow into your panels, causing catastrophic damage.
5. Stay in touch with your solar provider
Provided you’ve gone with a high-quality provider like DFW Solar Electric in the first place, have your provider check your solar system regularly to keep it running as efficiently as possible. A solar maintenance technician can diagnose any problems, identify potential hazards to your panels and test both your panels and any battery systems you’re using for efficiency.
Give DFW Solar Electric a call today
If you’re interested in solar panels for your home or business, give us a call at 972-827-7651. We have installed more than 30,000 panels, adhere to all building codes and industry standards, and source our panels and other systems from only the most reputable suppliers. In many cases, we can even provide an initial cost estimate based on publicly available satellite images of your structure.
Our Solar Energy Solutions
Are you thinking about a solar panel system for your home or business? Give us a call at 972-827-7651 or click HERE to get a free, no-obligation consultation, and we'll perform a detailed analysis to help you determine which solar panels make sense for you.