How Long Do Solar Panels Last?

A common inquiry we get as a solar company is “how long will solar panels last?” The short answer is that the lifespan of solar panels is quite a long time, roughly 25 to 30 years, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that your system will stop producing energy entirely, there will just be a loss in overall energy production. With Rooftop Solar’s parts-and-labor warranty, your system will be covered for a full 30 years! 



  • Solar panels can last for over 30 years if taken care of
  • Solar panels slowly degrade over time
  • Choose with a company with a great warranty, just in case
  • Simply cleaning your panels goes a long way in keeping the longevity of them
  • Monitor your system to make sure everything is running smoothly


Panel Degradation Rate

A key factor in the lifespan of solar panels is the rate at which they degrade over time. Solar panel degradation is when the panels start producing less energy over time. On average, solar panels’ production decreases by roughly 0.5 percent each year. This number is quite small in the grand scheme of things, thus giving a long solar panel lifespan. After 20 years of operation, you will still have roughly 90 percent of a solar panel’s lifespan. As long as they are not physically damaged, solar panels can last for decades, they just may not be working at optimum energy production. Because there are no moving parts, solar panels rarely break down all on their own. Typically, harsh weather conditions or poor installation are the main sources of damage. If you would like to determine the projected output of your solar system after a number of years, just multiply the degradation rate by the number of years and subtract that number from 100 percent. 


Solar Panel Warranties

You can figure out the average lifespan of solar panels by simply taking a look at their manufacturer warranties. In most cases, manufacturers will give consumers a 25-year warranty on their solar panels. With Rooftop Solar, a 30-year parts-and-labor warranty will come included with the purchase of your system so there is no need to worry for that 30 years. Don’t think you’ll live in your house for that long? Not a problem, that warranty is transferable if you decide to sell your home in the future.


Is there a way to make your solar panels last longer?

You may still be wondering if there is anything you can do to increase your solar panels’ life span. Solar panels are extremely sturdy and go through numerous tests to confirm their durability against inclement weather like high winds, heavy snow loads, and even hail. As for maintenance, solar panels require little to none, it’s typically as simple as hosing them off every few months if they become dusty. If you would like to learn more about maintaining your solar system, click here. Another way you can extend the average lifespan of solar panels is to make sure you keep everything clear of debris that could affect the output. If you live in a region that snows, it could be beneficial to add snow guards to your system, reducing the amount of snow covering your panels after a storm. By monitoring your solar system, you will be able to see if you are operating at full capacity. Another way to get the most out of your solar system is to go with a quality, trustworthy installer. 


How long do solar panels last?

To summarize, they can last decades, but the best installers will give you a great warranty to make sure your system runs smoothly for many years. If a friend asks you, “what is the lifespan of a solar panel?” you should be able to confidently refer back to this article to make them feel at ease when deciding to go solar. Rooftop Solar offers free consultations so Get a Quote today!

Sign up for our Newsletter

Stay in the know on all things Rooftop Solar! Events, Client Appreciation Parties, important solar updates and more!

Privacy Policy

Not ok with that? Call or email!

(800) 786-7080