How Long Do Solar Panels Last: Everything You Need to Know


When you consider going solar then one of the first questions you’ll ask yourself is, “How long do solar panels last?”

Solar panel lifespan is important to decide on your investment.

Your new solar panels can last for a long time.

Let's look at the average lifespan and steps you can take to keep your solar panel working better for longer.

How Long Do Solar Panels Last?

The industry standard by manufacturers is that solar panels last 25-30 years.

Manufacturers make it clear that solar panels don’t simply stop working at that time. Instead, solar panels experience an energy production decline throughout the years.

As solar panels age or get damaged they may produce less energy and electricity.

This decline is minimal but the care you provide affects the life expectancy of solar panels.

Solar Panel Degradation

The average solar panel declines in production by .8% each year. Newer and better quality products decline at an even lower rate. Some companies provide products with a decrease as low as .3%

With this standard rate, your solar panel will work at 80% efficiency after 25 years.

With a .3% decline, you'll be at 92.5% efficiency after 25 years.

These numbers come from a 2012 study. We've had a lot of progress since then!

Extend the Life of Your Solar Panel

Caring for your solar panel will help keep it running efficiently.

If you want to improve your solar panel lifespan you need to focus on upkeep. This care will protect your investment and save you money.

Energy Reducers

Your solar panels are exposed to the elements. The lifespan of your solar panel comes from their quality and the care they receive.

A few things can reduce your solar panel lifespan:

  • Snow
  • Rain
  • Wind
  • Extreme temperatures

The climate that you live in effects the lifespan of solar panels and is important in your investment. This makes solar panel placement important.

Not only do you want to make sure your panels receive as much sun as possible but you want to protect them from the weather. When getting a quote on your new solar panels your installer will provide you with options for the best and safest placement.

No matter where you live you can do a lot to protect your energy production.

Avoid Debris

Storms will blow branches, leaves, and other debris onto your roof. Sometimes you'll encounter an animal or bird nesting up there.

A damaged surface can decrease solar panel performance.

If too much damage occurs, water can get through these small cracks and cause a short circuit. The life expectancy of solar panels can greatly decrease from physical damage.

Don't forget to extend your homeowners' insurance. This extra protection is the perfect way to increase your solar panel lifespan!

Regular Cleaning

Use a garden hose during early morning or evening to spray off any loose dirt and leaves. You want to rinse your solar panels when the sun is not directly on them.

A good spray is often enough to remove any small debris. The cleaner they're kept, the longer the average lifespan of solar panels.

If your solar panel is safely accessible you can gently wash with a soapy towel or sponge. Always rinse afterward.

If you don't want to clean them yourself, solar panel cleaning services are available. If none are available, you can always count on mother nature and rain!

Don't Forget

Make a note in your calendar for routine care. Start a habit and your solar panels will be in tip-top shape.

Quality Matters

Not all things are created equal and that applies to how long your solar panel will last.

There are two common types of solar panels used in residential homes. Both are made of silicon and have their own unique benefits.


This type of solar panel is a premium product. You'll experience high efficiency and a sleek look with these panels.

Composed of a single silicon crystal, these cells allow electrons to move freely. This can make them more cost-effective.


You can identify these panels by their blue hue.

These solar panels use many fragments of silicon melted together. You may hear the term 'multi-crystalline' when referring to these panels. There is less freedom for the electrons to move which means less energy.

In exchange for this decreased production, you have a lower cost.

Which is Better?

The best choice for you depends on your needs and your manufacturer.

Nothing can provide you with a long solar panel lifespan more than quality work.

Choosing a quality provider and installer will make a big difference in your solar panel.

Work with a company that has a track record of positive customer experience and prides itself on a quality product.

Check Your Warranty

Most companies will offer a 25-year warranty.

A standard warranty guarantees energy production for 10 years at 90% and 25 years at 80%. With the proper care, your solar panel lifespan can be as long as 30-40 years. Even beyond!

Discuss what your warranty will include. Be covered for the maintenance of your solar panels.

Make sure that the company will stand behind its product and services.

Why Go Solar?

Installing solar panels is a long term solution to decrease your bills. You'll help your wallet but also help save the environment by creating clean and renewable power from the sun.

You have your answer to 'How long do solar panels last?'. It's up to you to take the first step in your investment.

With solar panels, you'll avoid energy cost increases for many years to come.

Now it's time to contact a credible company to assist you in getting started. You're on your way to clean, affordable energy!

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