When it comes to systems we often take for granted in our homes, the water heater makes it to the top of the list. These systems, even the tank models, are often out of sight—tucked away in a storage closet or in a corner of the garage—and often out of mind as well. The fact is, however, they’re a necessary component of everyday modern living.
You need your water heater for cooking, bathing, and cleaning in your home. When something goes wrong with that water heater, you need repairs fast. And in order to get the most energy efficiency out of your water heater, you should consider going solar!
“Wait, what’s that last part …” you ask?
The Solar Water Heater
Water is actually quite often used as the heat transfer fluid in various home comfort systems. Why’s that? Well, because it retains heat much better than other mediums (like air). Solar water heaters really aren’t a crazy idea by any means—and solar water heating can absolutely benefit your home.
There are two types of solar water heaters, each with their own features and subsequent benefits—the active solar water heater and the passive solar water heater.
Active Solar Water Heaters
These are solar water heaters that use pumps to aid in the circulation of water. Direct circulation systems pump water through solar collectors into your home, and work best in relatively mild climates, like ours.
The indirect circulation system requires that water be pumped through a heat exchanger before entering the home. While there are certainly benefits to this type, they’re generally not needed in the areas we serve, since they best benefit areas with freezing cold winters.
Passive Solar Water Heaters
These types of water heaters do not rely on mechanical pumps to move water. Rather they function with either an integral collector-storage system or a thermosiphon system. The former preheats water through solar collectors and then puts that water into a conventional water heater tank for storage. This means that even if you already have a newer water heater tank, solar water heating is still an option for you without replacing the entire system.
The thermosiphon system takes advantage of the principle that warm water rises. Gravity works to move the cold and warm water around in order to sufficiently heat the water before sending it into your home.
But Is Solar Water Heating Right for Your Home?
We understand this is a lot of information to take in. The best thing you can do is to talk to one of our pros. We can take a look at how efficiently your current water heater is working, and help you make the decision on whether it’s a good idea to upgrade or not. We can also let you know if it’s best to stick with the standard tank model water heater or if a tankless system would be advantageous.