How Much Does Solar Panel Maintenance and Cleaning Cost?

Typical Range:

$100 - $350

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.

Updated April 12, 2024

Written by HomeAdvisor.


  • Maintaining solar panels involves professional cleaning, inspection, and potential repairs, ensuring efficiency and longevity.

  • The average annual cost for solar panel cleaning is between $300 and $630, and inspection is around $150.

  • The cost of maintaining solar panels is impacted by system location, buildup level, size of the array, and proximity to the contractor.

  • Warning signs for solar panel maintenance include decreased efficiency, dust and debris buildup, and obstructions blocking sunlight.

  • Benefits of maintaining solar panels include increased efficiency, longevity, appearance, and adherence to warranty conditions.

Highlights were summarized from this existing cost guide text using automation technology and were thoroughly reviewed for accuracy by HomeAdvisor Editor Ryan Noonan.

Annual solar panel maintenance costs range from $450 to $780, with the average homeowner spending about $630 to maintain their solar panels each year. This includes the typical solar panel inspection cost ($150 on average) and solar panel cleaning cost ($15 to $25 per panel) on a home with 20 to 25 panels—the ideal amount of solar panels for the average American household.

The cost of solar panel maintenance can be as low as $150 for just the annual inspection if you tackle the cleaning yourself, though it's important to call a local solar installation company first. They can advise you on best practices for DIY work that won't void your warranty. If, during maintenance, you or a contractor determines that repairs are necessary, costs can climb as high as $1,250.

Solar panels require minimal maintenance throughout the year. Most come with automatic monitoring, alerting you to issues and low efficiency. However, getting an annual inspection and cleaning is crucial to keep your system operating at peak performance. Professional contractors will also be able to assess any damage to the system and recommend the next steps.

Average Cost to Maintain or Clean Solar Panels

Average Cost High Cost Low Cost
$630 $780 $450

Solar Panel Maintenance Costs

How much does it cost to maintain solar panels? Most homeowners should budget for two types of solar panel maintenance costs: cleaning and inspection. If your solar panels are damaged, you may also need to budget for repair work. Solar panel prices are high, so it’s crucial to keep up with all the necessary maintenance to get the best return on investment.

Solar panels are often covered by warranties, which may specify the required frequency of maintenance and inspections and who must perform the maintenance. Always check your contract before making maintenance decisions.

Solar Panel Cleaning Cost

The typical cost to clean a solar panel is around $15 to $25 per panel. Assuming a house has 20 to 25 panels, expect to pay between $300 and $630 a year for cleaning. On the other hand, a home with 10 panels may cost between $150 and $250 to clean. Even if you only have a few solar panels, expect to pay at least $100 because contractors typically set a minimum price for this job, especially if it involves getting on a roof.

For most systems, an annual cleaning will be sufficient. However, areas with less rain may have a more frequent need, up to two cleanings per year. The value of this service will be unique to each homeowner's specific circumstances.

The following conditions will affect your cost:

  • System location: Expect to pay less for ground-mounted units and more for those on two-story houses, given the safety measures and extra labor involved.

  • Buildup level: If you haven't had a service in several years, more work and supplies may be required.

  • Size: A larger solar panel array will take more time to clean, adding to labor costs. A small array will likely require a minimum fee to cover the contractor's costs.

  • Proximity to contractor: If you're far from the contractor's location, you may encounter a higher minimum fee than someone who lives within a 20-mile radius.

  • Maintenance agreement: You may have had the option to bundle a maintenance agreement with purchasing your system, which could lower your annual fee.

Solar Panel Inspection Cost

Solar panels typically require an annual inspection, roughly $150 a year. However, if you suspect a problem between yearly inspections, you may need to pay for a local home inspector to come out a second time.

During a solar panel inspection, the inspector will check the system's critical components. Good inspectors will search for corrosion, wear, and loose wiring and bolts. They'll also be looking for broken glass or signs of cracking. Inspectors can even point out if a tree branch or new building construction is obstructing the system's sun exposure, in which case you may need to budget for the cost of tree trimming or moving your entire solar energy system.

Because solar panels are low maintenance, the inspections will typically come back clean. However, if there's an issue, it's important to move forward with repair work.


Solar panel repair costs range from $200 to $1,250, with the average homeowner paying $730 for repair work. Contractors commonly need to repair loose connections, broken glass, or cracked panels. An issue with the solar photovoltaic inverter could be more costly to fix, up to $2,500 per unit.

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Benefits of Cleaning and Maintaining Your Solar Panels

Your solar panel warranty may require regular cleaning and maintenance, but that’s not the only reason to schedule an annual service. Here’s a list of benefits in cleaning and maintaining your solar panels:

  • Efficiency: Clean solar panels work more efficiently than dirty ones. Because you rely on solar panels to power your home, they must be as efficient as possible.

  • Longevity: When left uncleaned, solar panels can generate dust, debris, and sand buildup. Over time, this can weaken the solar panels, meaning you'll need to replace them sooner than expected.

  • Appearance: If you can see your solar panels from the ground, it's important to clean them for good curb appeal. 

  • Warranty: It's a good idea to stay on top of maintenance so as not to void your warranty.

DIY Solar Panel Maintenance vs. Hiring a Pro

To maintain your warranty, you may need to pay for a professional inspection and cleaning each year from a local solar panel installation company. Even if professional maintenance isn’t required for your solar panel system, it’s typically worth the cost. It’s easy to damage your system when cleaning if you don’t know what you’re doing, and pros can spot issues much more easily, often early enough to fix them before they become more costly to repair.

The solar company will be responsible for repairs and regular maintenance if you're leasing your system. However, you'll most likely be responsible if you own your system. Unless you bundle an annual inspection and maintenance agreement, cleaning and inspecting the system are usually not included in the warranty.

How to Maintain Your Solar Energy System

Aside from an annual $150 inspection, the key to maintaining your solar equipment is keeping it clear to absorb as much sun as possible. These systems are built to be extremely durable and long-lasting. If the sun can reach them, they’re set to produce energy for 20 to 25 years.

Maintain your solar energy system by:

  • Clearing obstructions: Fallen leaves and outstretched branches can block sunlight.

  • Removing buildup: Excessive pollen and debris can reduce your energy output.

  • Monitoring changes: Routinely check your monitoring system for output changes.

  • Considering a cleaning robot: These robots automatically wash and rinse your system year-round.

Cleaning Robots & Kits

Some homeowners may benefit from buying a robot or automatic cleaning system.

Cleaning Systems 

These cost around $2,250. You can program this sprinkler system to wash or rinse at your desired frequency. Heliotex, one of the leading brands in this market, has products compatible with any size and nearly any equipment brand. The company offers a unique quote for each home system.


These can cost up to $3,000 and have the capacity to wash your panels daily with or without water. Some run on tracks, while others are scrubby autonomous robots. Most run on solar energy. This technology is growing rapidly, especially in desert environments where large businesses rely heavily on their solar energy output.

DIY Cleaning Costs

The safest way to wash the equipment is from the ground with an extended, water-fed window washing pole. You must also use the right soap—which leaves little to no residue and causes no damage or wear—to optimize energy output. If your hose water is hard—meaning it contains a high mineral content—you'll also want to consider investing in a water treatment system before spraying your equipment.

  • Water-fed pole: $250–$5,000+

  • Water-fed brushes: $75–$180

  • Soap: $30–$50

Water-fed poles safe for this work vary greatly in price due to various factors such as length, material, and accessories. The more expensive poles have flexible and adjustable necks and interchangeable brushes. Poles at the $5,000-plus price point come with rotating brushes, are extra light, easy to manage, and will come with accessories like carrying bags and spare jets. Most homeowners can get by with a more cost-effective option:

  • Aluminum poles: $300 at 16 inches and $600 at 41 inches

  • Carbon fiber poles: $1,000 at 30 inches and $2,000 at 45 inches

Some solar experts say you only need a hose, soft sponge, and some soap to clean your solar panels. Contact your installer for their recommendations. Using the wrong tools could result in a voided warranty, especially if you damage your panels. 

Tip: Don’t wash the panels when it’s hot outside since the panels could burn you. Plus, the soap and water will dry fast and leave behind residue. Perform this work on an overcast day or early in the morning.

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Are solar panel maintenance and repairs covered by warranties or insurance?

Each solar panel warranty is different, so it's important to understand your system's warranty, how you can accidentally void it, and what it covers. In general, there are three types of warranties:

  • Performance: Ensures your system will operate at a certain efficiency level throughout its lifetime

  • Workmanship: Guarantees coverage if your equipment isn't installed correctly

  • Equipment: Covers components such as the inverter and panels should they fail

On the other hand, your homeowners insurance should cover a good portion of repairs in the event of a downed tree limb or inclement weather. However, considering the high cost of installing solar panels, you may want to raise your coverage limit. Homeowners insurance doesn't typically cover cleaning or maintenance.

Do I need to clean my panels?

Yes, you need to clean your solar panels, usually once or twice a year. Environmental debris is constantly building up on your panels, decreasing their efficiency. While some may only see a slight increase in output after washing, other homeowners report up to a 30% increase in efficiency. Your warranty may even require regular cleaning and maintenance.

How often do you need to clean solar panels?

Clean your solar panels at least once a year, but some homeowners opt to clean their panels every six months. Check your warranty to see if there's a stipulation for the frequency of solar panel cleaning. You can also invest in an automatic cleaning system or cleaning robot to clean your solar panels more regularly.

How do you remove snow from solar panels?

Experts usually advise against removing snow from solar panels on your own. Even a gentle sweeping with the wrong equipment could permanently damage the glass and compromise your warranty. In many cases, the snow will melt and fall away on its own.

If you wish to clear the units yourself, invest in a proper snow roof rake designed for the job. This costs anywhere from $30 to $150 and is available in materials like fiberglass, aluminum, and polycarbonate. Exercise extreme caution navigating your roof. If you wish to prevent the problem altogether, consider installing an automatic cleaning system.

Can you pressure wash your roof with panels?

Don’t pressure wash your roof if it has solar panels. The pressure could damage your solar panels and get moisture into vulnerable areas. Instead, use a leaf blower to remove debris from your roof. You can also pay for a contractor to do this work for you. Cleaning a roof costs between $300 and $600.

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