Adding a solar hot water heater to your home brings many benefits. But there are quite a few pitfalls you want to avoid as well. And while this type of system is one of the cheaper solar home power options available these days, it still represents a significant investment. Because of this, you want to make sure you are getting the most possible out of your solar hot water heater. Here are some tips to help you do just that.
Solar Water Heater Sizing
To start, you want to be sure that the solar hot water heater you choose is big enough to serve all of your home hot water needs. It needs a tank large enough to provide as much hot water as you’re likely to use in an hour on any given day, and it also needs to keep that volume of water at the appropriate temperature until you need it.
This can be a tough thing to figure out on your own, but talking to a professional will make it much easier. Experts with experience installing and maintaining these types of hot water systems know just how to estimate your hot water needs, and by working with them, you can come up with the best solution for your home.
Types of Solar Water Heaters
You also want to make sure that you pick out the right type of solar hot water heater for the climate in which you live. You should also aim to match your home’s particular dimensions. Most solar hot water heaters use the same type of flat roof-mounted collection panels to gather heat from the sun, but they use different methods to transfer that heat to the water.
Some solar hot water heaters heat water by running it directly through pipes connected to the collection panels. This allows for an efficient and direct transfer of heat, but it also leaves the pipes on the roof of your home exposed to extreme temperatures in the winter.
If the winter temperature is frequently below freezing in your area, you may want to consider a solar hot water heater that uses eco-friendly antifreeze. That antifreeze transfers the heat absorbed by the collection panels down to a tank inside your home where the water is heated. This eliminates the risk that your pipes will freeze and cut off your hot water supply completely.
Professional Solar Water Heater Installation
Solar hot water heaters are not particularly complicated pieces of equipment, so it’s tempting to try and install one yourself rather than pay a professional to do it. You’ll be much better off with a professional installation, though.
For one thing, professional installers are experts in determining where to install your new solar hot water system and then performing that installation. They are also familiar with all of the state and local building codes, so you won’t have to worry about your installation standing up to inspection later on. And professional installers are more likely to have the facts about any government rebate programs that your solar hot water heater makes you eligible for.
Solar Water Heater Maintenance
One of the many convenient things about having a solar hot water heater is that it doesn’t have very many moving parts. This means it won’t need service very often. But if you want to keep your solar hot water heater working at peak efficiency, keeping up with a regular schedule of professional maintenance is the best thing you can do. This will help to reduce the chances you will need emergency repairs in the future, and it can help extend the life of your system.