how often to clean solar panels

Solar power is experiencing a meteoric rise! With 15.9% of electricity generated by renewable sources in 2022, compared to just 13.5% the year before, solar panels are becoming a popular choice for eco-conscious homeowners.

But with this exciting transition comes a crucial question: how often to clean solar panels for optimal performance?

After all, keeping your panels clean maximizes their energy production and savings. This article explores the various factors influencing cleaning frequency and offers helpful tips and guidance on solar panel maintenance. Let’s ensure your investment in clean energy continues to shine!

How Much Output Is Lost From Dirty Solar Panels?

Dirty solar panels can significantly impact your system’s efficiency. When dust, pollen, bird droppings, and other debris accumulate on the surface of your panels, they create a barrier that hinders sunlight absorption. This blockage prevents the panels from generating as much electricity as they could if clean.

Studies have shown that dirty solar panels can lose 25% or more of their efficiency due to reduced sunlight penetration caused by dirt build-up. Over time, this loss in output can add up and result in lower energy production levels than expected. The good news is that cleaning your solar panels can lead to a 50% increase in efficiency. 

Expert Recommendations for How Often to Clean Solar Panels

Solar panels are a fantastic way to harness clean energy and power your home. But like any investment, they require some maintenance to ensure optimal performance. While experts generally recommend cleaning your solar panels at least once every year for peak efficiency, the actual frequency can vary depending on several factors.

Thinking of a simple schedule? Aiming for once in the spring and once in the fall is a good starting point for many homeowners.

Factors That Impact Frequency of Solar Panel Maintenance

Keeping your solar panels clean is crucial for optimal energy production. However, the frequency of cleaning needed can vary depending on several factors. Let’s delve deeper into these elements to understand how often you should be maintaining your solar panels for peak performance.


Solar panels in dusty or industrial areas may require more frequent cleaning than those in cleaner environments. The amount of pollution, dust, and debris in the air can impact the efficiency of your solar panels over time.

If you live near construction sites or agricultural fields where dirt and grime are more prevalent, it’s advisable to monitor the cleanliness of your solar panels. Regular maintenance and cleaning are essential in these locations to ensure optimal performance from your solar energy system.

Take into account where your solar panels are situated. Are they surrounded by trees that shed leaves, or are they exposed to bird droppings? These factors can contribute to a faster accumulation of dirt on your solar panels, affecting their ability to generate maximum power output.


Factors like air quality, humidity levels, and the presence of pollutants can impact the efficiency of your solar system. More frequent cleaning may be necessary to maintain optimal performance in areas with high pollution or dust levels.

In addition, regions prone to heavy rainfall might benefit from less frequent cleaning as the rainwater can help wash away some dirt and debris naturally. However, areas with minimal rainfall may require more regular maintenance to prevent dirt build-up that could hinder sunlight absorption.


Panels installed at an angle tend to shed dust and debris more easily when it rains, requiring less frequent cleaning. On the other hand, flat-mounted panels may accumulate dirt faster due to stagnant water forming dirt dams.

The tilt of your solar panels affects their exposure to sunlight and impacts how effectively they can self-clean. Panels with a steeper inclination often benefit from natural rainwater runoff, helping keep them relatively clean without manual intervention. However, lower-inclined panels might require more frequent cleaning to maintain optimal efficiency throughout the year.

Dirt Dams

Dirt dams may sound harmless, but they can significantly impact the efficiency of your solar panels. These pesky barriers trap dirt and debris, preventing rainwater from washing them away naturally. As a result, the accumulation of grime on your panels increases, leading to decreased energy production.

Over time, these dirt dams can become more stubborn to remove, requiring thorough cleaning measures. Regularly inspecting your solar panels for any signs of dirt dams is essential in maintaining their performance levels. By addressing these obstructions promptly, you can ensure that your solar system operates at its optimal capacity.

To prevent the formation of dirt dams on your solar panels, consider implementing a regular maintenance schedule that includes gentle cleaning techniques. Keeping a watchful eye on potential build-up areas will help you avoid unnecessary energy losses due to dirty panels.

Why Should You Hire Professional Solar Panel Cleaning Services?

Professionals have the expertise and tools needed to ensure your panels are thoroughly cleaned without causing any damage.

By entrusting the task to professionals, you can save time and effort that would otherwise be spent on climbing up onto your roof and attempting to clean the panels yourself. Additionally, professional cleaners can identify any potential issues with your panels early on, helping prevent more costly repairs down the line.

Regular maintenance by professionals keeps your solar panels working at their best and extends their lifespan. Investing in professional cleaning services is an effective way to protect your investment in solar energy for years.

Powered by the Sun: Solar Power Services for Your Home

While experts generally recommend cleaning your solar panels at least once every year, the ideal frequency can vary depending on your situation. Now that you know how often to clean your solar panels, it’s time to find the services you need. 

At Sun Club USA, we believe switching to solar power shouldn’t be complicated. We offer a seamless and sustainable solar experience, from initial design to expert installation. Our team of dedicated professionals will guide you through every step of the process, ensuring a smooth transition to clean, renewable energy.

Ready to simplify your energy use and save money? Request a free quote and discover how much you can save.