Off-Grid Vacation Cabin Maintenance TipsFire Mountain Solar
Spring has finally arrived, and now is a perfect time to prepare your off grid home or cabin for your summer vacation plans. We know there has been a lot on your mind since last summer, so our off grid experts have created a list of maintenance tips that your off grid home may need after a long winter:
- Clean your solar panels. Spring is springing and bees are pollinating and that means your panels are building up with pollen and dust. Cleaning your solar panels will help keep them efficient and providing the power you need. Read: Solar Panel Cleaning
- Adjust ground or pole mounted solar panel angle (if applicable). If you have an adjustable solar array, spring is a great time to adjust your panels to ensure your system is receiving an optimum amount of sun. The goal is to have the solar array facing directly at the sun and since the sun is higher in the sky this time of year, be sure to get the benefit of all that sunlight! Here are suggested array angles to help you achieve the most from your solar panels:
- Spring: Tilt the panels to your latitude.
- Summer: Tilt the panels to your latitude minus 15degrees.
- Fall: Tilt the panels to your latitude.
- Winter: Tilt the panels to your latitude plus 15degrees.
- Maintain your lead acid batteries. Check your flooded lead acid batteries water levels. If they are low, be sure to only use distilled water to top them off. And don’t forget to equalize!
- Tune up your generator. Most generators need to have an oil change every 50-60 hours of use to ensure a healthy life. After about 100 hours of use, it is also good to change the air filter in your generator to prevent dust from entering the engine and causing problems. Be sure to refer to the maintenance instructions for your specific generator and create a maintenance chart to keep track of services.
- Wood stove maintenance. What better time to clean a wood stove than after a busy wood-burning winter? If you have a wood stove for your off-grid home, it is important to clean the chimney at least once a year to prevent buildup of soot and creosote. Excess creosote buildup can be dangerous since it is flammable and has been known to cause unexpected fires.
Following these tips will allow you to have stress-free vacations at your off-grid cabin.