How much does solar panel cleaning cost?
$150 – $500 average total cost
$10 – $20 average cost per panel
Average solar panel cleaning cost
Solar panel cleaning costs $10 to $20 per panel or $150 to $500 total on average, with most homeowners spending about $325. Solar panel cleaning costs depend on the location, job size, complexity, cleaning method, and whether the service includes an inspection. Most solar panel repairs cost $250 to $1,500.
|Number of panels||Average cleaning cost*|
|5 – 10||$50 – $200|
|10 – 15||$100 – $300|
|15 – 25||$150 – $500|
|25 – 35||$250 – $700|
|35 – 45+||$350 – $900+|
*Most solar panel cleaning pros charge minimum fees of $100+.
Solar panel cleaning cost factors
Many factors influence the cost of cleaning solar panels, including:
Panel size, number, & type – As expected, cleaning larger-scale solar panel systems takes longer and costs more. However, professionals may offer a discount on the price per panel for larger jobs. The panel type and manufacturer warranty stipulations also affect the cleaning methods and products used.
Condition – Panels with excessive debris buildup take longer to clean and may increase the cost.
Roof height & steepness – Roof height and steepness impact whether the job requires extra equipment and safety measures, which may increase the cost. However, panels at a steeper tilt often require less cleaning since dirt sheds off more easily.
Difficulty – Some solar panel systems are more complex than others and require more expertise and time to clean correctly.
Climate – Solar panels in areas with heavy rainfall typically require less cleaning than homes in dry or dusty regions.
Materials & equipment – Professionals who use high-end equipment and materials typically charge more to cover their increased overhead.
Contracts & warranties – Many solar companies include an annual inspection and annual or bi-annual cleaning service when you hire them to install the panels.
Commercial vs. residential – Commercial solar cleaning costs are typically higher due to the larger scale and high-tech equipment used.
Solar panel repair cost
Solar panel repair costs $250 to $1,500 on average, but prices range from as little as $20 for a tiny crack repair to as high as $3,000 to replace a broken inverter. Keep in mind if the repairs are not done during the cleaning appointment, most repair professionals have minimum job fees.
|Problem / Repair type||Average cost*|
|Cracked or broken glass||$20 – $450|
|Loose or chewed wiring||$100 – $400|
|Rust or corrosion||$20 – $350|
|Obstructions / tree branch removal cost||$75 – $850|
|Solar inverter replacement cost||$1,500 – $3,000|
|Additional roof repair cost||$150 – $1,000+|
*Most solar panel professionals have a $100 to $250 minimum job fee.
Solar panel inspection cost
A solar panel inspection costs $150 to $350 on average when not included as part of your installation service contract. Some cleaning companies include an inspection in their cleaning service, while others charge separately. An annual inspection can catch potential problems early and extend the system's lifespan.
A solar panel inspection typically involves:
Inspecting the panels and their mounting systems
Checking the system's overall performance and efficiency
Inspecting the inverters, junction boxes, and meter functionality
Looking for signs of damage like:
Loose clamps, bolts, and wiring
Cracked or broken glass
Nests or pests underneath the panels
Solar panel cleaning FAQs
Do solar panels need to be cleaned?
Yes, most solar panels need to be cleaned. Dirt and debris that accumulate on the panels over time can reduce the panel's energy output by 7% to 30%+. If you live in an area with frequent rainfall, your solar panels may not require cleaning as often as those in drought-prone areas.
While most solar panels require some cleaning, experts advise that "less is more" and frequent cleaning can damage the panels, especially if you use the wrong tools and cleaning products. Hire a professional to ensure the cleaning is safe, effective, and does not void the panel warranty.
Is solar panel cleaning worth it?
Solar panel cleaning is worth it in most cases, especially if you live in an area where the environmental conditions cause your panels to accumulate excessive dust and debris. Keeping your solar panels clean extends their lifespan, prevents staining, and ensures they are performing at maximum efficiency.
How are solar panels cleaned?
Professional solar panel cleaners use a variety of methods:
Manual cleaning – Manual cleaning is the most common method of cleaning residential solar systems. Many professionals use a water-fed, non-abrasive brush with deionized water, which soaks up the dirt and leaves the panel streak-free. They may also use a scraping tool designed for safely removing tougher residue.
Robotics & automation – Professionals often use automated or semi-automated robots to clean large-scale solar panel systems. Some devices use microfiber cloths and controlled airflow to remove debris, some use water-fed brushes, and some have the functionality for both wet and dry cleaning methods.
Vibration – Waterless vibration technology is a fairly recent development for solar panel cleaning. This method uses electrostatic repulsion to cause dust and debris to come off the panel without water or soap, making it ideal for areas with limited water access.
Most manufacturers provide detailed instructions on how to clean the panels properly to maintain the warranty. Some manufacturers even note the allowable water hardness level.
Can you use glass cleaner on solar panels?
Experts do not recommend using glass cleaner on solar panels. Most solar panels have one or more protective surface coatings. Glass cleaner, window cleaner, Rain-X, and similar products can degrade these coatings and reduce the solar panels' efficiency and lifespan.
How often should solar panels be cleaned?
You should schedule a solar panel inspection and cleaning 1 to 2 times per year in most cases. If you live in a heavily wooded area or one with extreme weather, excessive dust, or high levels of pollution, you may need to schedule more frequent solar panel cleaning.
Schedule an inspection and cleaning after any major storm to confirm your solar system has not sustained damage and that your panels are free of debris.
How long does solar panel cleaning take?
Solar panel cleaning takes 1 to 3 hours for most residential solar systems. Cleaning a larger than average solar system, one with panels that are difficult to access, or one with an extensive level of debris accumulation may take longer.
Getting estimates for solar panel cleaning service
When searching for a solar panel cleaning service near you, be sure to:
Look for members of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), and the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE).
Check for solar panel cleaning pros with positive reviews on HomeGuide and Google.
Compare at least 3 inspection and cleaning estimates with similar details.
Select a licensed, bonded, and insured professional who has been in business for 5+ years.
Get a detailed contract and warranty in hand before the work begins.
Beware of extremely low bids that can indicate low-quality work or lack of industry expertise.
Questions to ask a solar panel cleaning professional
Ask the following questions to ensure you choose a qualified solar panel cleaning professional whose cleaning process will not void your panels' manufacturer warranty:
How long have you been in the solar panel cleaning business?
What relevant training, certifications, or licensing do you have?
Do you have references or testimonials from past customers?
Does the estimate include inspection and cleaning?
What method do you use to clean the solar panels?
Will your cleaning process void my panel warranty?
What extra costs might come up when you're inspecting and cleaning the panels?
How long will the inspection and cleaning process take?