You have purchased your new solar water heater or photovoltaic panel array and had it installed. Now you’re sitting back anticipating your energy savings. These systems deliver plenty of free hot water and electricity. They just keep working for you, requiring so little maintenance that you could almost forget they’re there.
Don’t put them completely out of mind though. Periodic inspections, a little routine maintenance, and eventually some minor repairs or component replacements will pay off. Maintaining optimum efficiency of the system will ensure you get all the benefits you bargained for and bought.
Here are some inspections that you should perform on a regular schedule, along with some remedies for problems you might discover:
- Monitor your solar collectors for shading during various periods of the day, and in the different seasons. Growing vegetation in your yard may need pruning if it keeps the sun’s rays from reaching your panels. New construction or vegetation on neighboring property may require similar work, or even legal remedies to protect the value of your system.
- Monitor your panels for particulate accumulation. Excessive dust or soil deposits on the lenses will block the sun’s rays from reaching the collectors, interfering with optimum performance. This can be addressed with washing.
- Check for leaks, damage or weathering. Fluid leaks where pipes join, weathered seals, glazing or insulation, and exposed or uninsulated wiring will all erode performance, and result in possible property damage. Cracked lenses or housings can allow internal components to be exposed to the elements and damaged.
- Inspect support structures. Neglect here can result in collapse and damage of the system, and building damage, as well as injury and liability issues.
- Make sure valves, pumps and controllers are functioning properly. Closed or stuck valves or impaired pumps can cause damage to other components and prevent the system from delivering the energy you are expecting.
- Maintain fluid levels and antifreeze solutions.
Some of these inspections you may be able do yourself. Others, and many repairs, require trained and experienced help. In Fresno and other San Joaquin Valley locations, the HVAC professionals at Donald P. Dick Air Conditioningcan provide additional information.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about maintaining solar systems and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
Donald P Dick Air Conditioning services the greater Fresno area in California. Visit our website to see our special offers and get started today!
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