Solar Water Heaters

07/01/2015

A Solar Water Heater is a Choice You Would Not Regret

Solar hot water heaters have become a popular option in recent years for homeowners living in warmer climates.  A solar water heater can last up to 40 years if its design suits the climate and the unit assimilates high-quality materials and . Your house will need hot water anyways, so why not invest in a solar water heater, saving money and energy and eventually reducing your dependence upon fuel-fired power?

The models of solar hot water heaters might differ from each other, but they commonly perform the same basic functions:

  • collect heat in a solar collector;
  • transfer the heat, directly or indirectly, to the water supply;
  • store the heated water until it has to be used.

They use comparatively simple technology tested by time, which is one of the main reasons they are winners in renewable energy.

Solar water heaters are an expensive investment but it is worth it, especially considering the fact that reduced utility bills allow you to recover the initial expense in a few years. You can relax and enjoy hot baths and showers, knowing that energy comes straight from the sun and this energy is absolutely free!

Active VS Passive Solar Water Heaters

There are active and passive solar water heaters and you should consider the type before selecting one for your home or business facility. Active systems contain a pump that helps move water through their heating system, which usually requires a source of energy (a solar photovoltaic panel in most cases). Passive systems do not require any pumps or electrical parts.

The principle of passive solar water heaters operation is similar to that of a garden hose placed out in the sun; however, the container for the water is considerably larger. The sun heats the water in a massive rooftop tank, which then runs down into your plumbing system. You might still want to keep your conventional water heater in case if the solar water heater does not heat the water to the mark selected on your thermostat, especially if you live in colder climates. If that is the case then it will be better to install an active solar water heater.

An active solar water heater keeps water in a tank inside your house and transfers water or a “heat exchange” fluid through a “collector” on your roof by means of a pump. Collectors are meant to heat water in your solar water heating system. Active water heaters applying the “heat exchange” method are best for regions with freezing temperatures.

Solar Water Heaters in Warmer States of the USA

In warmer climates or for systems used exclusively in summer, such as those at summer homes and campsites, water in the solar collector and pipes does not freeze. In this case integral collector storage (ICS) system, often called a batch heater, is the best kind of a solar water heater in warmer areas.

ICS systems are tanks filled with water and exposed to the sun. Commercial ICS collectors consist of one or multiple tanks inside an insulated box with one glass side. The glass side faces the sun, and the tanks are usually painted black or covered with a coating that absorbs the sun’s energy. This ICS system is not connected to any pumps or controls and is integrated straight into your home’s water system.

No matter where you live, a solar water heater can become a great option for your household helping you not to start saving money immediately since you won’t longer depend that much on fossil fuels. To find out more about solar water heaters, contact Brea/Orange County Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning today.

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