If you’re reading this article, I’m guessing you have solar panels already and want to know how much it will cost to clean them?
The cost of cleaning solar panels can vary depending on a few different factors. The size of your solar panel array, the location of your panels, and the type of cleaner you use are all important considerations.
Note: I wouldn’t recommend trying to clean them yourself as it’s easy to damage the panels. If you can hire a professional to do it, that’s always the best option.
Why Should I Get My Solar Panels Cleaned?
It’s all about efficiency. Solar panels capture sunlight and turn it into electricity. If your solar panels are dirty, dust-covered, or infested with bird droppings, they won’t be able to absorb as much light.
As a result, they will not create as much power and you will notice a decrease in energy production.
A dirty solar panel can lose up to 30% of its efficiency in some cases. That’s a significant loss, which is why keeping your panels clean is so crucial.
Keeping your solar panels clean will reduce the overall maintenance cost of your solar panels and ensure that they last for a longer period of time.
How Often Should Have Your Solar Panels Professionally Cleaned?
Ideally, you should have your panels cleaned at least once a year. But in some cases, you may need to have them cleaned more often.
How Much Does Solar Panel Cleaning Cost?
Solar panel cleaning costs vary, depending on the size and type of the solar panel. Typical cleaning costs for solar panels range from £4 to £15 per panel.
The more panels there are, the more expensive it will be to clean them. The cost of cleaning a bank of 40 solar panels on the ground floor ranges from £80 to £225.
Factors affecting solar panel cleaning costs
The overall cost of cleaning your solar panels will be determined by a number of variables such as:
- Property access.
- The height of your solar panels (whether they’re on the ground floor or higher floors).
- The slope of your roof.
- The pitch of your roof.
- How dirty they (Some are really bad!!).
- How often you agree to have them cleaned.
Since you have to clean solar panels at an angle, the access in and around your property plays a big role in the cost of the service.
If there are any obstacles in the way, it’ll take more time to clean all of your solar panels, which will increase the cost.
The height of your solar panels
If your solar panels are on the ground floor, they’ll be much easier (and cheaper) to clean than if they’re on the second story or higher.
That’s because the cleaners will have to use a ladder to reach them, which takes more time.
The slope of your roof
The steeper your roof is, the more difficult it will be to clean your solar panels. In some cases, it may not even be possible to safely clean them without putting the cleaners at risk.
The pitch of your roof
The pitch of your roof also plays a role in the cost of cleaning your solar panels. If the pitch is too steep, it will be difficult to clean them without damaging the panels or putting the cleaners at risk.
How dirty they are
Obviously, the dirtier your solar panels are, the more time it will take to clean them. And the more time it takes to clean them, the higher the cost will be.
How often you agree to have them cleaned
The frequency with which you have your solar panels cleaned also affects the cost.
For example, if you agree to have them cleaned twice a year as opposed to once a year, the cleaner will provide a discount since they’ll be getting repeat business.
In fact, if they don’t offer, you should ask for a discount!
Related: Some solar stats
What’s Involved In Cleaning Solar Panels?
Ironically, the process is actually quite simple. The cleaning of solar panels is normally carried out by local window cleaners who use pure water long-reaching poles with soft brushes attached to the end.
This is generally the safest and most effective method of cleaning solar PV (photovoltaic) panels as it doesn’t require any ladders or scaffolding and therefore reduces the risk of damaging the panels or harming the cleaners.
Depending on the slope and pitch of your roof, they may need to use a ladder with a “ladder stand-off” attachment.
This positions the top of the ladder away from the wall and gutter and makes cleaning the panels so much easier.
Note: The way your window cleaner cleans your solar panels is the exact same way they clean your windows, fascias, outside of your gutters, and conservatory roof.
How Long Should Solar Panel Cleaning Take?
On average it takes 1-2 hours to clean a standard-sized array of solar panels (a standard-sized array is around 20-40 solar PV panels).
The time will be extended based on how dirty the panels are and whether the sun is shining on the panels.
This is why most window cleaners prefer to get an early start so they can clean the panels when it is cooler.
Trying to clean solar panels mid-day in the blazing sun is not only incredibly hot and tiring, but it will also take them much longer since the dirt and debris are baked on.
Can Solar Panel Cleaning Affect My Warranty?
Yes. If you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, your solar panels should be properly cleaned.
You risk voiding your warranty if you clean your solar panels yourself unless you’re an expert.
Check with a specialist who is familiar with cleaning your brand of solar panels about the proper cleaning process for your solar panels.
Are Domestic and Commercial Solar Panel Cleaning The Same?
Yes, they are the same. This is because the equipment a solar panel contractor uses on a domestic house will be the same equipment used on a commercial property.
Depending on how many panels there are will determine how much pure water they need to bring to get the job done.
Will the window cleaner need scaffolding to clean my solar panels?
No, the window will not need scaffolding to clean your solar panels. Since they use long-reach pure water extendable poles they should be able to clean your panels from the ground or on a ladder.
Will they clean the whole panel or just the solar cells?
They will clean the whole panel, including the frame and the solar cells.
Do I need to be home when they clean my solar panels?
No, you do not need to be home when they clean your solar panels. In fact, it’s often easier if you’re not home since they won’t have to work around you or your schedule.
Will I need to provide the contractor with water to clean my solar panels?
No, since the window cleaner uses pure water they will not need to use your water. They will bring their own water and equipment.
What if my solar panels are on a second story?
No problem! The tradesman will just need to use a ladder with a “ladder stand-off” attachment. This positions the top of the ladder away from the wall and gutter and makes cleaning the panels so much easier.
How often should I have my solar panels cleaned?
Ideally, you should have your solar panels cleaned at least once a year. However, if you live in an area with a lot of dust or pollen, you may need to have them cleaned more often.
Can I clean my own solar panels?
Yes, you can clean your own solar panels if you live in a bungalow and it is from the safety of the ground. You can also buy solar panel kits that come with an extendable pole and brush attachment.
However, if you live in a house or your solar panels are on a second story, it is not recommended that you clean your own solar panels. You could damage your roof or even fall and hurt yourself.
It’s always best to leave solar panel cleaning to the professionals.
Should I use soapy water to clean my solar panels?
Absolutely, not. Never use soap or any form of chemical cleaner on your solar panels. These can damage the surface of the panel and reduce its efficiency.