Solar water heaters can be a great addition to your home or business, but there is a lot to consider before purchasing one. While there are many advantages, there are also many disadvantages that are difficult to evade. Mann Plumbing can walk you through all these and help you decide if a solar water heater is the right choice for you.
Types of Solar Water Heaters
● Direct Circulation: Direct circulation water heaters work by pumping the cold water through collectors in the solar panels, usually on the roof. The heated water then moves back to the storage tank and out through the pipes to the rest of the house. The disadvantage of this type of heater is that it will not work when temperatures are below freezing.
● Indirect Circulation: Indirect circulation water heaters pump water through the collectors, but then the water goes through an antifreeze solution. This allows the heater to work even in cold temperatures. Because they work at any temperature, they are typically more expensive than direct circulation heaters.
● Integral Collector-Storage Passive System: These systems are different from direct and indirect circulation systems, because there is a storage tank inside the collector. ICS systems do not work well in cold temperatures.
● Thermosyphon System: Thermosyphon systems are similar to ICS systems, but the storage tank is not inside the collector. The storage tank is above the collector, so the warm water rises into it and back into the house. The tank can be very heavy and difficult to install, so these systems can be expensive.
● Reduced Heating Costs: Solar water heaters can shave up to 70% off your heating bills. You will not have to pay for the solar energy generated, and you will not have to pay for the gas or electricity that used to heat your water, unless there is not enough sun.
● Low Maintenance: Once installed, there is very little maintenance needed for your solar water heater. They can also last about 20 years, so there will be no need for a replacement any time soon.
● Environmentally Friendly: Solar power is renewable energy, so solar water heaters are much better for the environment than using gas or electricity. In addition to this, there may be tax savings for using renewable energy.
● Choice of Size: There are a lot of size options available for solar water heaters. This means you can almost guarantee enough hot water for your home or business while not overpaying for an excessively large of a model. Your plumber will be able to help you choose the right size.
● High Efficiency: Around 80% of the energy collected by your panels will be turned into energy that will heat your water.
● High Installation Cost: While a solar water heater can save you a lot of money, the cost to purchase and install one is much higher than other types of water heaters.
● Climate: If you live or work in a climate that does not have a lot of sunny days, this type of water heater may not be a viable solution.
● Scaling: One common problem with water heaters is the buildup of calcium. Typically you can solve this by adding a water softener about every three to five years, depending on the water quality in the area.
● Corrosion: Certain materials are prone to corrosion. Installing plumbing parts made from copper, stainless steel, plastic, or rubber can help to avoid this. Many storage tanks are lined with glass or plastic to avoid rusting.
Mann Plumbing works with AO Smith and Bradford White to provide customers with quality,
durable, and cost-efficient solar water heaters.