Solar Water Heaters Review
Why Buy a Solar Water Heater?
Harness one of the cheapest, renewable resources available to heat water in your home or around your property with a solar water heater. Replacing or supplementing your existing water heater with a solar-powered option can reduce annual energy costs related to heating or preheating your water by half. With a variety of options to choose from, such as Blujay Compact Non-Pressure, the Cirrex Electric and Rheem SolPak Gas, you'll find that the market for solar powered water heaters has never been more diverse.
Solar Water Heaters: What to Look For
With many sizes and features to choose from, it can be difficult to know which solar water heating system is right for your home or business. Here are the key features to consider when shopping for the best solar water heating system for your home.
As with any water heater, volume capability is a critical aspect to consider when deciding which unit to buy. Determining the right size of water heater involves considering how the hot water will be used and how much is required on a daily basis. Homes with many people need larger water heaters than those housing just one or two people. Hot water demands are also determined by how often people bathe, do laundry or shower. Consider whether several people will be doing these activities back to back, as that requires a large volume of hot water in a short time. Look for a solar water heater than holds enough hot water for your home and water consumption needs as well as how large of a space the unit will take up in your home.
Collectors and Circulation Systems
A solar water heater holds liquid in a collector; sunlight provides the heat either directly or through solar panel power. The collector's design is a prominent aspect of any solar water heater system and is typically described in the product name. The three most common collector types are batch, flat-plate and vacuum tube. Each design has advantages and disadvantages, and design options may be limited by tank or circulation system preferences.
Batch collectors store water for long periods of time in a tank that's part of the collector's design. The system can provide a lot of hot water quickly, but water may become very hot, requiring a tempering valve to mix hot water with cool water for optimal temperature. Flat-plate collector systems work by passing water in copper tubes near flat solar absorbers, which provide heat. Vacuum (also known as evacuated) tubes collect solar energy and turn it into heat for raising the temperature of water or air.
As with any appliance, certifications of solar water heaters can be a good indication of performance and quality. Look for OG-3000 certification from the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation as a standard of excellence.
Sun-powered water heaters provide a great way to save on utility costs and make your home more eco-friendly. Opting for the wrong unit, however, could create more expenses in the long run, so it pays to be informed before making a purchase. Use the above criteria to help you make the best decision when you are looking at which solar heater to purchase.