The spring is in full swing and summer is just around the corner, so it’ll be wise to make use of those sun rays to help the environment. In this case a solar water heater will be a great choice. Some skeptics would say – is it worth it to have a solar water heater in 2019 when there is a lot of other water heater options available? In this article we will discuss the relevance, affordability, as well as pros and cons of solar water heaters.
Operation of Solar Water Heaters
Solar water heating is a system that directly heats water that is pumped into your home. There are two major types of solar water heating systems – active and passive. Both systems depend on the climate, so it would be best to test them first during the warmer months of the year.
Active systems use pumps to circulate water through a set of pipes situated in the solar panels.
Passive systems employ a storage tank and a solar collection tank, where hot water can be stored and used later.
Pros of Solar Water Heaters
- Clean and cost-effective water heating. Solar energy is free and plentiful in warm climates; besides it has no carbon footprint. If you want to gradually move from gas and hydropower to other options, solar water heating is the best choice, especially if you live in a sunny area. Around 80% of the radiation is turned into heat energy.
- Initial investment is worth it. Even though solar water heater means significant initial investment for installation costs, it substitutes the energy you would otherwise purchase from the power company. Depending on your location, the investment will ultimately compensate for itself in electricity savings. Your water heating bill will drop dramatically with a solar water heating system.
- Easy maintenance. The solar water heater does not involve much maintenance. The only requirement is to circulate a water softener in the pipes every 3 years.
- Being a quiet unit. There are some moving parts in the solar water heater, but overall the unit does not produce much noise.
- Non-intrusive. The solar water heater needs only two or three solar panels unlike the other solar technology that works with the installation of up to 16 solar panels. Also it doesn’t take up much space except for some extra space for the storage tank if the passive method is used.
Cons of Solar Water Heaters
- Significant financial expenses. Unfortunately, buying and installing the solar water heater is still a serious investment, and a few years would have to pass before any financial benefits.
- Dependent on the climate. Like all solar energy, solar water heaters’ effectiveness and productivity can exclusively rely on the hours of sunshine your region gets throughout the day.
- Only heats water. This system cannot be used to power other electrical devices except for heating water.
Importance of Weather to Solar Water Heaters
It is obvious that the weather is important to the solar water heaters. They obtain their heat from sunlight, so the amount of sunlight influences the temperature of their heating. In primarily sunny climates, these units provide hot water most of the time, but in primarily cloudy climates, a design that collects sunlight more efficiently is useful.
In any climate, however, backup electric heating elements would be relevant. They will ensure that no matter how cloudy the weather is, there is always hot water. But the worse the weather is, the more the heating element has to be used, consequently your electric bill is increasing.
Installation of the storage tank
The passive type of solar water heaters is more effective, so if you’re thinking about going somewhat green, you might be considering your options. However, the installation of the storage tank would be your biggest challenge. Depending on the size of your property, you would need an appropriately sized tank. You would definitely need solar water heater professionals to do proper calculations and be up for the task. Our specialists from Norwalk/La Mirada Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning would be more than happy to help you.
SO are Solar Water Heaters Worth It?
There are pros and cons as well as other extra things to think about with the solar water heater systems. For those homeowners who do not mind a long-term investment and live in areas with constant sunshine, it might be the best decision they would ever make in their lives.
For others – not to that extent. But one has to start somewhere to make the transition from burning fossil fuels for energy to the renewable green energy options. We as humans only have one planet and we should know how to treat it well, so our planet can treat us well in return. Everyone should do their part in promoting healthy eco-friendly living, if they can.
Consult our experts from Norwalk/La Mirada Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning to find out more about your options and costs when it comes to choosing solar water heater units.