How long do solar panels last and are they worth it?

How long do solar panels last? For many, this question is a driving force in deciding whether or not to install a solar panel system. After all, why bother if they’ll need replacing in just a short amount of time?

Is it a waste of money? Or could solar panels help you save on your energy bills in the long run?

If you’re considering investing in solar panels, here’s all you need to know about how long solar panels last and what you can do to get the most out of yours.

Close-up: person in gloves holding a solar panel

How long do solar panels last?

Solar panels are a popular choice for those looking to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and save money on energy costs. But how long do solar panels last? The answer may surprise you. 

Despite being outside, where they face wind, rain, and debris, solar panels are designed to withstand the elements and continue to produce electricity for decades. Most solar panels come with a 25-year warranty. However, that doesn’t mean that they’ll stop working after 25 years. In fact, many panels will continue to produce electricity for 40 years or more – making them a durable and long-lasting investment.

Want to learn more about the composition of solar panels? Our homeowner’s guide to how solar panels work explores the technology and materials used in solar panels in more depth. 

Do I need to clean my solar panels?

Solar panels might be built to last, but like any other type of equipment, they require some maintenance to function correctly. Dust, leaves, pollen, and other debris can build up on the solar panels and prevent them from absorbing sunlight. This can reduce the amount of energy they produce and shorten their lifespan. Therefore, it is essential to clean your solar panels if you notice any grime or build-up.

In general, a shower of rain can rinse away any dirt. But if you live in a dry climate or experience periods of low rainfall, you might need to give your panels a helping hand. 

It’s a good idea to hire a professional to carry out solar panel maintenance as working at height and around electricity and heat can be dangerous. 

However, if you decide to do the job yourself, the best way to clean solar panels is with a soft brush or cloth and a mild soap or cleaning solution. Once the panels are wet, gently scrub them in a circular motion to remove any dirt or debris. Rinse the panels with clean water and dry them with a soft cloth. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or power washers, as these can damage them. 

In addition, you should check the panels for any cracks or impairments and make sure that the electrical connections are secure.

Are solar panels worth the money?

We can see that solar panels potential have the potential to last for upwards of 25 years. But with the average solar panel system for a three-bed house in the UK costing around £5,400, finding the upfront sum is a big consideration for many families. So are they worth the initial investment? 

Well, the answer depends on your individual circumstances. For example, if you live in an area with high electricity rates and plenty of sunlight, solar panels can be an excellent investment. On the other hand, if you live in a shady area or your electricity rates are low, they may not save you as much money. In general, solar panels make the most financial sense in areas where sunlight is abundant, and electricity prices are high. 

However, even if solar panels don’t make financial sense for you, they can still be a worthwhile investment if you’re interested in reducing your carbon footprint. You need to consider whether your priority is to save money or lower your environmental impact.

Another way to look at solar panel value is to consider the payback period and how this relates to the panel lifespan.

What’s a solar panel payback period?

The solar panel payback period is the time it takes for a solar panel system to generate enough energy to offset its initial cost. In other words, it’s the point at which the solar panels have “paid for themselves.”

The payback period varies depending on a number of factors. These include the solar panel system size, your local climate, and the amount of sunlight that the panels receive. In general, however, solar panel systems typically have a payback period of between five and ten years.

After the payback period has been reached, the panels will continue to generate free electricity for many years to come. As a result, beyond the payback period, they’re a great way to reduce your outgoings in the future. To put it into context, if your panels last for 30 years, you could enjoy 25 years of free energy!

Make the most of your investment with SpotDif

 Now you have a clearer idea of how long solar panels last and their value, you’re ready to find a supplier. Are you ready to make a greater return on your solar panel investment? At SpotDif, we compare hundreds of solar panel providers and installation companies so you can get the best price possible. 

Take a look at our solar panel offers near you.


Thomas Kupai is a Specialist in Home Services for Spotdif. He helps customers find the best deal on home services.

Tom is an inventive problem solver and has a knack for finding creative solutions to difficult problems. He loves his work at Spotdif, where he helps customers find the best deal on home services. Tom takes great pride in his work and always puts the needs of others first.

He is a creative thinker who enjoys coming up with new ways to save people money. He takes pride in his work and loves helping others find what they need at a price they can afford. When he’s not working, Thomas enjoys spending time with his family and friends. He is an avid reader and loves learning new things.


Thomas Kupai

Specialist in Business Services

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