Your new solar panels should last a long time, but they aren't fixtures that you can leave alone for years. You have to have them maintained in order to get the most use out of them. This doesn't mean you have to actively monitor the panels for signs that anything is wrong, but it does mean you have to treat them like your home's heater or another appliance and keep the panels and circuitry in good working order. Doing so will prolong the lifespan of the panels and allow you to catch problems in their beginning stages.
Cleaning Keeps Power Production High
Panels on your roof will gather dust and dirt, just like a regular roof would. Cleaning the panels is essential as too much dust and dirt can make it harder for the panels to pick up that precious solar energy. And the actual cleaning is pretty simple; most solar panels can be cleaned off with some water and mild soap. However, if those panels are on your roof, maybe you don't want to clamber around up there, especially if the roof isn't flat. A maintenance company can clean off the panels for you safely, allowing you to stay on the ground and out of harm's way.
Damage Inspection Finds Those Little Things
You don't need a big hailstorm to blow through to end up with damage to the panels, even if they're up high on a second-story roof. Branches, small creatures with scratchy claws and paws, the occasional basketball landing on first-story roofs — you can end up with solar panel damage from a number of sources. A maintenance inspection is your best defense against these as the inspector can spot the damage and arrange for its repair, rather than letting the damage accumulate and affect how well the panels work.
General Maintenance Keeps the Panels Working Longer
Maintenance appointments in general will keep those panels working longer. When you have a technician come by every year or every few months, they can look over the whole system and do everything from cleaning and tightening bolts to locating circuitry that needs to be replaced.
Solar panels are pretty low-maintenance in general. But they are not no-maintenance, and with a regular maintenance schedule, you'll see how much better the panels function over the years. The installers who brought in the panels may offer service contracts, or, if your warranty allows, you can hire a solar panel maintenance contractor to take care of the work.