When choosing appliances for your home, you want to make sure that you are investing in products that will work efficiently for years to come. With the apparent energy crisis today, it is important to find sustainable large-scale appliances, such as hot water heaters. Let’s take a look at solar hot water heaters and their cost-effectiveness.
What Are Active Solar Water Heaters?
The function of a solar hot water heater is identical to a traditional water heater. The water needs to be exposed to a heat source. In this case, the heat source is the sun’s rays. The water is then circulated back into the house for use.
Solar hot water heaters have two main components; the storage tank and a solar power collector to trap the solar energy.
A solar hot water heater is a good choice if you are looking to save on energy costs. Usually, a solar water heater will be used to pre-heat water before it enters a traditional hot water heater. The pre-heated water will require less electricity to fully heat. There are total solar hot water heaters as well, though they do not use a traditional heater.
Is It Worth It?
To answer this question, you need to be very clear concerning your intentions. If your intention is to save money on energy costs over the long term, a solar hot water heater could be a good investment. There will be initial expenses in installing your heater. These are usually one-time investments, however, and then going forward you will enjoy free or almost free energy.
How Much Does a Solar Hot Water Heater Cost?
The cost will depend on the type of heater you install. Active solar hot water heaters can be more expensive. This is considered a more efficient heater, however.
Passive heaters are less expensive, but also less effective.
Another option is an integral collector storage system. These are super simple because the collector is also the storage tank. These are usually only a good option in areas that rarely see freezing temps. They can be as simple as positioning a large black tank in direct sunlight and allowing the sun to do its work. This works well if you plan to simply pre-heat water before it enters a traditional heater.
Where to Get a Solar Water Heater?
The best way to determine which type of solar hot water heater will work for you is to sit down with a professional plumber to talk about the options.