If you've been thinking about purchasing a new solar water heater system (for a new home or to replace or supplement the water heater in your current home), make sure you choose one that meets your needs. Solar hot water heaters are either passive (no moving parts) or active (supported by a motorized pump). When considering your choices, you need to take into account your budget, where you live, your lifestyle and environmental concerns. The following tips will help you do this.
How Much Can You Spend?
Solar water heaters don't have to be tremendously expensive. In fact, the savings you get with these units will provide you with a very quick return on your upfront investment, making them far more affordable than you might expect. Before you start, decide how much you're willing to spend on the system. Also check with your local authorities (and Homeowner's Association, if you have one) to be sure that a solar water heater won't violate any rules.
The Importance of Climate
The size and type of system you choose will largely depend on where your home is located. If you live in the Southwest or Florida, a fairly small system will be able to turn out all the hot water you need. In a colder climate, you may have to install a much larger collector. In addition, the system may have to be supplemented by a standard water heater.
What Are Your Water Needs?
The degree to which a solar hot water heater will be effective for you is influenced by your lifestyle. If you use a lot of hot water during the day because of a large family, you're probably better off going with an active system and a much larger collector. However, if there are only a couple of people in your home and you do laundry only infrequently, a passive system might be sufficient.
One goal you might have when purchasing a solar hot water heater is reducing your home's carbon footprint. While there are many ways to be eco-friendly with regard to hot water, conservation measures such as washing clothes in cold water or reducing the temperature on your conventional hot water heater will only take you so far. If you want to have a big impact on the energy you use for heating water, one of the most effective things you can do is to install a solar hot water heater.
For help deciding whether this type of system will work for your home, contact a company like Peck Electric. They can help determine how much your home stands to gain from the installation of solar panels.