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Solar panels are saving Americans thousands of dollars — but there’s one crucial factor to consider before buying them

Overall, solar panels are extremely durable and can last between 20 and 30 years with proper care.

Overall, solar panels are extremely durable and can last between 20 and 30 years with proper care.

Photo Credit: iStock

More and more Americans are finding out that solar panels are a great way to save money on their energy bills. And while potentially slashing your electricity costs to zero is incredibly enticing, it’s also important to understand the other costs associated with having solar panels.

What type of maintenance do solar panels need?

Because solar panels are exposed to the elements, they need regular maintenance to ensure they’re operating at peak performance. Generally, the maintenance and cleaning are not extensive, as the slanted nature of the panels allows debris, snow, and leaves to slide off easily.

Experts recommend cleaning and maintenance for your panels at least twice a year — potentially more depending on the local climate and pollution levels. This will help prevent debris and gunk from lowering the panels’ ability to produce electricity (and thereby will save you money). 

Dry regions of the country may require more frequent cleaning because more dust is in the air. 

How expensive is solar panel maintenance?

Of course, the cost of solar panel maintenance will vary depending on the size of your array and the quality of your panels, but this cost is a small price to pay for the huge savings you’ll get.

According to Forbes, you can expect to pay roughly $150 to have your home panels professionally cleaned and an additional $150 to have them inspected yearly.

In addition to regular maintenance, you may eventually need to get your solar panels repaired. Solar panel repairs vary in price depending on the extent of the damage, but they can be costly. Luckily, panels are usually covered by a warranty, so you won’t have to pay for these repairs until that warranty expires. 

How long do solar panels last?

Overall, solar panels are extremely durable and can last between 20 and 30 years with proper care. Warranties from reputable companies are typically 25 years or more, according to Forbes

The upfront costs of solar panels can be significant, but they are generally cheaper than you might think. And with the Inflation Reduction Act, you could get a 30% tax credit to install solar panels on your home (averaging around a $4,600 value as of last year).

Solar panels may be an excellent investment for your home if you want to reduce your energy bills while contributing to a cleaner planet. 

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