Tapping into the advantages of roof-mounted solar power systems is a step forward for any household but maintaining the system to maximise your benefits is also important. Master electrician and managing director of Adelaide firm Solar Power Direct Paul Maiolo says while such systems require little maintenance, calling in a professional to check your solar panels can save you money and increase the efficiency of your system. “Solar panels provide you with a cheap power source,” he says.

A 3 kW solar PV system cuts the average electricity bill by 65 per cent in South Australia, according to the Australian Solar Council and can boost the value of your home. “However, your energy system can decrease in inefficiency by as much as 20 per cent over time if your solar panels aren’t regularly cleaned,” Paul says. “Dirt build up makes it difficult for your solar panels to absorb sunlight properly, rendering your system less efficient.” He says a professional who carries out solar panel maintenance can remove dirt and grime that has accumulated on the surface of your system. “Statistics suggest cleaning your system annually can increase its efficiency by as much as 21 per cent and maximise returns on your investment,” Paul says.

Common solar panel problems include no power and low voltage issues. During a solar maintenance check, a trained engineer will assess your panels for performance, test the switches, AC electricity system and DC circuits, and ensure your solar energy system is working properly. A specialist can also identify any issues before they happen. “Fixing a problem with your system can save you money on repair costs and you will be able to rectify any damage before the issue gets worse,” Paul says.

He says safety is important as underlined by the fact there were more than 200 fires in Queensland in almost five years to July, 2015, resulting from faulty DC isolators, inverters and wiring connectors in solar panel systems. “A solar power professional will check electrical components for signs of water damage and corrosion which could pose a significant risk to you and your family,” Paul says. “A specialist can even check the condition of your roof and recommend a solution if a problem is identified.” Rooftop solar is cheaper in Adelaide than grid electricity but if you want to keep netting the savings, regular solar system servicing is imperative, he says.

Solar Power Direct is accredited by the Clean Energy Council and offers the expertise of master electricians. It can supply and install rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) systems to generate clean, safe and reliable electricity for home or business. “We’ll carry out a comprehensive check of your solar power system that includes cracks and defect inspection, dust and dirt removal and an electrical component test,” Paul says. The service costs $249. Solar Power Direct, 7226 0560, solarpowerdirect.com.au