Solar panels are one of the best investments you could make to make your home more energy-efficient. More than 2 million Americans have switched to solar panels to try and reduce their carbon footprints.
But solar panels require upkeep in order to give you the biggest bang for your buck. Check out these 7 telltale signs it’s time for solar panel repair.
Panels are Dirty
Dirty solar panels don’t produce energy well. Once you begin to see evidence of dust and other buildups on your panels its time to schedule a solar panel repair.
While cleaning your panels isn’t usually what you would think of when you think of repair, it’s not a task that most homeowners want to do themselves. It requires getting up on the roof to wipe away the residue in a process that could take hours.
If you don’t have the right equipment to anchor yourself during the cleaning, it can be a dangerous feat. Avoid a potentially serious accident by calling in the pros.
Most solar providers offer some form of maintenance and repair plan and can help you keep your panels looking good as new.
Your Bill Goes Up
Not everyone has a clear view of their solar panels from the ground. But you can certainly notice a change in your solar panel performance if your electricity bill suddenly goes up.
Solar panels always connect to your existing utilities unless you’re off the grid. Being off the rid means you completely produce your own power without connection to the city.
But this is a formality for homeowners with top-performing solar panels. Most solar panel owners don’t need to rely on their electric connection when their panels are producing power efficiently.
When you notice your monthly electrical bill going up, it’s a sign your panels aren’t producing energy and probably need solar panel repair. Instead of getting up on the roof, call your provider for a service appointment.
The issue might not be visible simply by looking at the panels.
You Get a Notice from City
Sometimes there are changes in permit regulations. This isn’t an official need for repair, but it could mean the way your panels are installed needs to be adjusted.
When you receive a notice from the city about your solar panel installation take heed right away. Ignoring new regulations could make it a challenge when it comes time to renew your homeowner’s insurance policy.
In a worst-case scenario, you’ll be hit with fines that may persist until you get the solar panel repair completed. This might be more common with large community solar panel setups than individual homes.
You Notice Cracks
One very common way to know it’s time to schedule a solar panel repair is if you not cracks in the panels or structures. It could be a sign of faulty mechanics or the result of tampering.
It’s not unheard of for vandals to throw rocks or poke at solar panels near the ground level especially if you live in a busy area. Check your solar panels regularly if you notice they attract a lot of attention from the neighborhood kids.
Harsh Weather Patterns
The most common reason for solar panel repair is harsh weather. Serious weather patterns like large hail, tornadoes, and hurricanes all bring turmoil to solar panels.
Since the panels aren’t connected permanently to your roof, they may fly off during a severe storm sometimes being damaged beyond repair. Salvage what you can from your panels and schedule a solar panel repair for the rest.
It might be a good practice to have regular repair appointments scheduled if you live in an area with severe weather seasons. Have the repairman check for small problems that can be worsened by future storms.
Even when panels survive bad weather, they might have parts that come loose that are not easy to see from the ground. During the next storm, this loosening makes it easier for the panel to go flying off your roof when winds kick in.
Inconsistent Meter Reads
It’s a good idea to perform regular energy audits on your home when you have solar panels. It helps give you an idea of how much energy you’re using and whether your solar panels are doing their job well.
Your energy audits should remain relatively consistent over time. If you notice major fluctuations between your audits, there is a need for maintenance.
There could be a faulty panel in play that impacts your ability to produce power. This is usually paired with a spike in your electricity bill.
Panels are Tilted
Another easy way to spot a damaged solar panel is if the panel is tilted or askew in any way. Solar grids are symmetrical and arranged flush to your roof in an ideal situation.
If you notice any changes in symmetry or if one panel seems raised next to the others, it’s time for repair. These repairs are usually minor unless they’ve occurred after a storm.
Either way, it’s a good idea to get a repair team out to get the panel looked at so it doesn’t fall creating further damage.
Scheduling Solar Panel Repair
Keep an eye on your solar panels especially after bad weather in your area. Solar panels are the worst off when a storm comes brewing because they lay exposed on your roof.
If you’re in an area with routinely severe weather, consider scheduling a regular solar panel repair to keep your panels in top condition. For more information and tips, visit our blog for updates.