Solar panels are known for their longevity, efficiency, and low maintenance requirements, making them a popular choice for homeowners and businesses seeking clean, renewable energy. However, it is not uncommon to experience a decline in performance over time. In this blog post, we will explore some of the most common reasons why your solar panels may not be working as well as they used to and provide recommendations for addressing these issues.

  1. Age and Degradation

Solar panels are designed to last for decades, but their performance will inevitably decline as they age. Most panels come with a warranty that guarantees a certain level of efficiency for 25 years, but even the best panels will experience some level of degradation over time. On average, solar panels lose about 0.5% to 1% of their efficiency per year. This means that after 25 years, your panels could be producing 20% less power than when they were new. Regular maintenance can help mitigate this decline, but it’s important to be aware that aging is a natural process for solar panels.

  1. Dirt, Dust, and Debris

Solar panels work best when they are clean and free of dirt, dust, and debris. Over time, a layer of grime can accumulate on the surface of the panels, reducing their ability to absorb sunlight and generate electricity. Regularly cleaning your solar panels can help maintain their efficiency. In most cases, rinsing them with water is sufficient to remove the dirt, but a more thorough cleaning may be necessary if the panels are particularly dirty or if there’s a buildup of bird droppings, leaves, or other debris.

  1. Shade and Obstructions

When solar panels were first installed, the area around them may have been free of shade and obstructions. However, over time, nearby trees may have grown taller, casting shadows on the panels and reducing their efficiency. It’s important to keep an eye on the surroundings of your solar panels and trim back any foliage that might be causing shading. Additionally, ensure that any new structures or installations on your property do not block sunlight from reaching your solar panels.

  1. Damaged or Malfunctioning Components

Solar panel systems are composed of various components, including panels, inverters, and wiring. If any of these components become damaged or malfunction, it can lead to a decline in system performance. Regularly inspect your solar panel system for any signs of damage or wear, such as cracked panels, frayed wiring, or corrosion. If you notice any issues, contact a solar professional to assess the problem and make any necessary repairs or replacements.

  1. Inverter Issues

The inverter is responsible for converting the direct current (DC) electricity generated by the solar panels into alternating current (AC) electricity that can be used in your home. If your inverter is malfunctioning, your solar panels may still be generating power, but it will not be efficiently converted for use in your home. If you suspect that your inverter is the cause of your solar panels’ reduced performance, consult with a solar professional to diagnose the issue and explore your options for repair or replacement.


If your solar panels aren’t working as well as they used to, it’s essential to identify and address the potential causes of the decline in performance. Regular maintenance, cleaning, and monitoring can help maintain your solar panels’ efficiency and extend their lifespan. Additionally, working with a solar professional to address any issues promptly can help ensure that your solar panel system continues to provide you with clean, renewable energy for years to come.