How to Get the Most Out of Your Solar Panels this Summer and Beyond

solar panels in sunsolar panels in sun

As the summer heatwave continues through August and September, solar owners will continue to see low power bills and the highest energy production out of their panels. Because of this, many homeowners who have purchased a system in the last couple years forget that there are several steps that can be taken to make their solar panels produce electricity at maximum capacity year-round. Let’s take a look at these steps to see what you need to do now to maximize your solar savings!

Use Energy During the Day Time

There are several reasons why homeowners with solar should use the bulk of their electricity during the day. We all know that solar panels produce energy through the power of the sun’s rays, and this means that they won’t be generating power during the night. If you don’t have a battery backup to store any unused electricity, that means you’ll be paying out of pocket to power any appliances at night. In order to maximize panel performance, homeowners should run their laundry during the day, leave their air conditioning on during the day, and unplug any unused appliances at night. By taking these simple actions, homeowners can use most of their electricity during the day, allowing for huge savings at the end of the month. If you think that these actions don’t apply to your solar circumstances because you have a backup battery, it is important to remember that batteries are still a relatively new technology and are not able to store electricity at 100% efficiency. This means that backup battery owners should still try their best to use energy during the day. Luckily, the new 2020 work-from-home evolution has allowed many homeowners to use energy during the day and maximize their panels’ performance this summer.

Clean Your Panels

No matter where a solar owner lives, their panels are susceptible to build up caused by one or multiple of the following materials: dirt, dust, pollen, leaves, ash, bird droppings, smog, or even a combination of all these light-blocking objects. The majority of buildup can be washed away by consistent rainfall. However, several states across the U.S. don’t receive a steady amount of rain, meaning that homeowners can’t depend on the weather for solar panel cleaning. Fortunately, the summer months are the best time to give your panels a thorough wash because there are no external factors like snow, ice, or cold weather that could create a dangerous environment. If the angle of a roof is too steep or a homeowner doesn’t have the time or desire to wash their panels, there are many window washing companies who will clean your panels at a small price.

Solar owners occasionally wonder: is it really worth taking the time and effort to wash them myself? In almost all cases, keepings solar panels clean is a smart decision. By giving the solar panels a quick wash down with water, their output can increase by 5-10%, which can equal a couple hundred dollars in power bill savings a year. While this might not seem like much, those simple washings will have saved thousands of dollars over the panels 25-year warranty. Not to mention that a simple yearly wash will keep your panels looking clean and increase their overall life span!

Switch to high efficiency appliances

It might seem counterintuitive to swap out appliances that are working fine because of the upfront costs but switching to more efficient appliances can make a huge impact in the long run. Take a look at this list below to see which of your appliances are ready for a switch:

Appliance:Life Expectancy:
Gas Ranges15 years
Oven Hood14 years
Dryers13 years
Refrigerators13 years
Garbage Disposal8-12 years
Freezer11 years
Washing Machine10 years
Microwave9 years
Dish Washer9 years
Source: https://www.thespruce.com/lifespan-of-household-appliances-4158782

By upgrading to more efficient appliances, homeowners will not only decrease energy usage, but they can also increase the value of their home. When looking to buy any of the appliances listed above, make sure to look for the Energy Star branded appliances because they heavily outperform their competitors in terms of efficiency, enabling homeowners to increase their solar savings!

If new, expensive appliances aren’t within the budget, it can be smart to focus on upgrading less noticeable energy users in the home. For example, a lot of homeowners are still using old incandescent bulbs. These bulbs burn through lots of energy, shine less bright, and create unneeded waste. By simply switching to LED bulbs for a couple hundred dollars, homeowners can save hundreds every year for years to come.

Getting Rid of Phantom Power

Wasted energy, or phantom power, is a common problem that causes most Americans to pay hundreds for extra electricity that they technically did not use. Luckily, some brilliant minds have created solutions to prevent homeowners from leaving the lights on when they leave their home or letting their phone charge throughout the night. The first obvious solution is using smart outlets, strips, and lights. Through Wi-Fi connection, homeowners can turn off an appliance, light, or charger from almost anywhere with the simple press of a button. These smart outlets are inexpensive and can be connected with smart devices like Alexa or Google Home. By making these simple changes, homeowners can decrease phantom power significantly and save hundreds every year!

Blue Raven Solar Wants You to Save!!

With the summer winding down, there is no better time to make these changes to your home. By planning your energy usage, washing your panels, upgrading appliances, and cutting out any phantom power, you can go into the less sunny winter months producing enough energy to cover your power bills. If you have any questions on how to improve your solar situation during the summer months, take a look at our other posts or leave a comment, and we’ll make sure to get back to you quickly!

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