LESLIE: James in Rhode Island is going green with some solar panels. What can we do for you?
JAMES: I had a discussion with my brother. Basically, are there any types of maintenance issues you have to handle with solar panels – yearly, quarterly, electrically or cleaning – in this issue area if you put them on your house?
TOM: Well, there’s going to be some mechanics involved with the panel. You’re going to have a circulation pump, for example, that needs to be oiled. But in terms of cleaning the panels, unless you have some odd event that gets them really dirty, like a very severe storm or something of that nature, I really don’t think that you need any maintenance to the panel surface itself. I mean those panels are really, really durable and continue to perform well even when they have normal accumulation of dust and dirt on it just from the environment. So I don’t think you have a lot of maintenance there. You will have some mechanical maintenance, though, to make sure that the system is continuing to circulate. I presume we’re talking about active solar panels here for a hot water system.
JAMES: Well, yes. And it’ll apply to electrical, too, then; the same issue.
TOM: Well, it certainly would and, you know, there’s been a lot of changes in the electrical solar panel industry. Probably the most recent is that they’re starting to come out with solar tiles that look like roofing shingles or at least shaped to work within a roofing system that actually are photoelectric collectors.
LESLIE: And they’re so thin. They lay in the exact profile of the existing roofing material; so they do sort of blend in while providing the greenness and the energy efficiency you’re looking for.
JAMES: Amazing. Amazing. Well, thank you so very much.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.