UK households warned to 'wipe surfaces' before sizzling Saharan plume heatwave

UK households have been urged to "wipe surfaces" ahead of a Saharan plume hitting the country. With the UK set to experience a Saharan plume next week, experts have issued a warning to homeowners with solar panels.

The warning comes from the experts at Independent Advisor Solar Panels, who are encouraging anyone with panels installed to monitor their energy produced over the next few days as the plume could bring with it Saharan dust.

This thin layer of dust can settle on the surface of solar panels impacting their efficiency - and effectively reducing your potential savings. The team at Independent Advisor have also shared their step-by-step guide to cleaning your solar panels to ensure maximum efficiency.

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Katharine Allison, energy-saving expert at Independent Advisor Solar Panels, commented: “Solar panels are designed to be self-cleaning to a degree, and thanks to the amount of rain we get in the UK, most debris should be washed off without any input. However, dirt and large detritus can still build up over time, reducing your panels' efficiency.

“And while many homeowners will opt to have their panels cleaned professionally, this can cost around £150 for a system of 10 panels 1 and for most people, the prospect of cleaning them yourself doesn’t need to be too intimidating.”

They said begin by assessing the condition of your solar panels to help you understand how big a job cleaning them will be and then decide on the best approach. Mix your cleaning solution and gently wipe the surface, working in small sections, starting from the top and working your way down.

Rinse thoroughly and then dry with a squeegee, they say. Once the panels are rinsed, use a squeegee to remove excess water and achieve a streak-free finish. Wipe the squeegee in a single direction to prevent streaking. For any remaining water spots, use a microfibre cloth to gently buff the surface until dry.