So Now You Have Your Solar Heating System – Know How To Maintain It?
So you’ve finally taken the plunge and invested in a solar system for your home. Congratulations! You’ll save money and your home will have a dramatically reduced environmental footprint. However, keep in mind that simply installing a solar heating system doesn’t guarantee peak performance. Like any household system, it needs regular maintenance. Some tasks will be easy to do yourself, while others will require the attention of a professional.
Here’s what can be done to help optimize the performance of your solar heating system:
- Every season, as environmental factors and the position of the sun changes, visually inspect the collectors to ensure they’re not shaded by new plant growth or recent construction in the area.
- Clean dust and dirt off the panels, which can inhibit energy collection. Warm water and a bit of dish soap will usually do the trick. You can do this yourself, but use extreme caution if your panels are on the roof.
- Check the panel sealants and glazing for yellowing, cracking or peeling.
- Ensure the bolts attaching the panels to the roof, or other structures, are secure.
- Check for leaks around the pipe connections.
- Check for tight wiring connections and proper electric flow. Good electrical functioning maximizes the solar system’s efficiency and enhances safety.
- Verify that all ducts and duct connections are well-sealed with specialized mastic to prevent energy loss.
- Ensure efficient operation of the blowers or distribution pumps. If the sun is shining in late morning and you can’t hear the blower or pump coming on, there may be a system malfunction. There may be damage to the controller, the blower, or the pump.
- Make sure the storage tanks are functioning properly. Cracks, leaks, rust and corrosion in the tanks all spell trouble for solar heating systems.
Your solar heating system is an investment that will give back to you for many years to come, assuming it is well-maintained. If you have questions about keeping your solar system working efficiently, or would like to schedule a service call, contact Sobieski Services today.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
Image Credit: Istvan