Man standing in front of house monitoring solar panel production through an appHow To Tell if Your Solar Panels Are Working

You finally did it—you installed a solar energy system for your home! The panels look great and they’ve been quietly generating electricity for months or even years with no issue. 

But you’re starting to worry about their performance. It seems like your solar panels are doing their job, but you feel a little unsure. Are they really operating as efficiently as possible? Should they be generating more power? Could your bills be lower?

Solar panels are incredibly low maintenance, which can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you don’t have to spend a lot of time or money on upkeep. But, on the other, you don’t get the peace of mind that comes with regular service visits. 

If you have concerns about your solar energy system, keep reading. We explain how you can test solar panel output and common problems that reduce solar output. 

Checking Solar Panel Output 

There are a few ways to check whether your solar panels are on and working properly. 

1. Check Your Monitoring System

Most modern solar panel systems come with a monitoring system that allows you to track the performance of your panels in real time. You can see how much energy your panels are producing, detect any drops in performance, and identify potential issues. 

2. Look for a Green Light on Your Inverter 

Your inverter is key to solar panel performance. If it’s not working properly, your whole system will be affected. To check if your inverter is working correctly, locate the display panel on the unit. It should show a green light or a status indicator that confirms it’s functioning properly. If the light is red, you have a problem. 

3. Keep an Eye on Your Electricity Bills 

Drastic changes in your electricity bills can indicate a problem with your solar panels. Keep a close eye on your electricity bills throughout the year after you go solar. If you notice a spike, your panels might not be working properly. 

Common Problems that Reduce Solar Output 

If your solar output has dropped, it’s important to find out why as quickly as possible so you can fix it. The longer your solar panels are out of commission, the more it costs you in electricity bill increases! 

Here are a few of the most common issues that reduce solar output. 

  • Shade – Shaded panels do not produce as much electricity. New structures or growing tree branches could be blocking sunlight and reducing your solar output. 
  • Dirty Panels – Dirt, pollen, bird droppings, and other debris can accumulate on your solar panels, blocking sunlight and reducing their output. 
  • Panel Degradation – Solar panels naturally lose efficiency over time. High-quality panels have a slow degradation rate, but older panels typically produce less electricity as they age. 
  • Extreme Weather – Snow, clouds, haze, and extreme heat can temporarily reduce solar panel efficiency and output. 

Professional Solar Panel Maintenance in Arizona 

A drop in solar output is a clear sign that something is wrong with your solar energy system. SouthFace Solar & Electric can find the source of the problem quickly and get your system back on track. We offer professional solar maintenance for all types of residential and commercial solar energy systems, including off-grid and ground-mounted systems

If you have concerns about your solar energy system or just want to confirm that it’s operating as it should, give us a call. We can help with everything from inverter troubleshooting to panel repair and replacement. 

Get professional solar maintenance in Arizona. Call 480-405-6105 or contact us to schedule a service call.