Why Solar Panel Cleaning Matters for Southern California Homeowners

Why Solar Panel Cleaning Matters for Southern California Homeowners

Welcome to the sun-drenched expanses of Southern California, where solar panels gleam atop rooftops, harnessing the golden rays of California’s generous sun. These panels are more than just emblems of green energy; they’re investments in a sustainable future and the financial well-being of the homeowners who’ve installed them. Yet, the secret to unlocking the full potential of these solar arrays isn’t just in their technology but in their upkeep. Central to this is the practice of regular cleaning—a task often overlooked yet crucial to solar panel performance. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore why solar panel cleaning is indispensable for Southern California homeowners, from boosting efficiency and power output to combating the insidious threat of salt corrosion.

The Impact of Cleanliness on Solar Panel Efficiency:

Imagine your solar panels as the lungs of your home, breathing in sunlight and exhaling electricity. When these lungs are clogged with debris, their breath becomes shallow, and their vitality wanes. Dirt, leaves, bird droppings, and other detritus can form a film over the panels, significantly diminishing their efficiency. In fact, studies have shown that panels can lose more than 20% of their energy output due to accumulation of grime, with some reports from Southern California suggesting even higher figures in areas prone to dust and pollen. And this is not always a gradual decline but can happen quite rapidly, especially in areas with heavy road traffic, agricultural activities, or construction work, all of which are common throughout Southern California. Regular cleaning ensures that your solar panels can breathe freely, soaking up the sun’s energy without impediment.

Don’t let dirt reduce your solar efficiency. Schedule a cleaning with 180 Solar Power and experience the difference!

Boosting Power Output Through Regular Cleaning:

A solar panel’s power output is directly proportional to the amount of sunlight it can absorb. When the surface is dirty, less sunlight reaches the photovoltaic cells, and as a result, less electricity is generated. By keeping the panels clean, homeowners can ensure that they are getting the most power possible from their investment. This is not just a matter of peak performance on sunny days; it’s about maintaining a high baseline of energy production that translates to consistent savings on energy bills over time. In the competitive energy landscape of Southern California, where electricity prices are among the highest in the country, every kilowatt-hour counts, which is why clean solar panels are a homeowner’s best ally.

In fact, a recent article published by MIT News (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)  stated that soiling can reduce the output of photovoltaic panels by as much as 30 percent, which would result in a significant reduction in energy production, especially when scaled up to the size of an entire residential solar array. The implications are clear: regular cleaning is not just about aesthetics; it’s about the bottom line—maximizing the return on your solar investment.

Extending the Life of Your Solar System with Proper Maintenance:

Solar panels are built to last, with many manufacturers offering warranties of 25 years or more. However, longevity is closely tied to maintenance. One of the major challenges that solar equipment encounters, especially in coastal areas like Southern California, is salt corrosion. Proximity to the ocean means that salt can accumulate on the panels, which, if left unchecked, can lead to corrosion of the aluminum frames and degradation of the panel surfaces. Regular cleaning washes away these corrosive salts, preventing damage and maintaining the structural integrity of the system. This not only extends the life of the solar panels but also protects the homeowner’s investment.

The corrosive nature of salt is not to be underestimated. When salt-laden sea breezes sweep across solar installations, they leave behind a residue that can attract and hold moisture against the panel surfaces. Over time, this moisture can penetrate seals and electrical components, leading to failures and costly repairs. 

So now that we’ve established that cleaning is an important part of the regular maintenance of your solar system, the next question is how to go about it. Of course, a property owner could clean their solar panels themselves, however, it’s important to note that cleaning solar panels yourself can be dangerous. Not only will you be working at great heights on top of the roof, but you’ll be up there cleaning solar panels with slippery cleaning agents which increase the risk of falling off the roof further.  Furthermore, there is the risk of working around a high voltage electrical power plant (which is what your solar system is), which is enhanced even further by feeding water directly onto it. 

It is for those reasons that most Southern California homeowners hire professionals to perform this potentially dangerous task for them. However, there is another equally important reason for homeowners to hire professionals to perform this task. Using regular city or well water for cleaning solar panels leaves mineral deposits and scaling on them, which over time also reduces the power output of solar panels, just like any other debris will do. 

Not all solar panel cleaning companies are the same:

Most Southern California solar panel cleaning companies are nothing more than glorified window washers, and many homeowners are not aware of the risk that places them in if an accident or other mishap occurs on their property, because most of these companies don’t have the licensing, insurance, knowledge or specialized training and equipment that is required to work on your roof and do the job safely and properly. 

180 Solar Power is different. 180 Solar Power is a licensed, bonded and insured electrical contractor that brings the experience of thousands of actual solar installations and decades of experience to every job. The technicians that work on our customer’s homes are highly skilled and trained, and are often the same technicians that on any other day would be troubleshooting or installing a solar system for one of our other customers. They know the equipment on your house like the back of their hand, and they are covered by 180 Solar Power’s comprehensive insurance which protects them, us and most importantly you, if a mishap occurs. 180 Solar Power also uses a specialized deionized water system and cleaning solutions to prevent mineral deposits, and ensure a spot-free finish. 

We have experience and expertise in maintaining and installing solar panels and inspecting solar components to make sure your system is operating at peak efficiency. Choosing a professional cleaning service like ours ensures that your solar panels receive the care they need without risks to your safety or property.


The brilliance of a solar-powered home in Southern California lies not just in its ability to generate clean energy but also in the homeowner’s commitment to maintaining the system’s health. Regular cleaning of solar panels is a simple step you can take to ensure that your solar investment is performing at its best. It’s a practice that pays dividends in the form of higher efficiency, increased power output, a longer lifespan for your solar system, and most importantly, the highest possible return on your investment. Hiring a highly rated company like 180 Solar Power to perform this service for you guarantees that it will be done safely and done right. So, take care of your solar panels, and they will continue to light up your home with the power of the California sun for years to come.

Ensure your solar panels are always at their best. Book a cleaning session with 180 Solar Power now and secure the future of your solar energy!