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Save Energy and Money by Installing a Solar Water Heater

Feb 18, 2015

There is one thing that Arizona gets more of than most places: direct sunlight. Why not use that sunlight to power one of the most important components in your home: your water heater. You can save energy and money by installing a solar water heater. Here’s why.

How Solar Water Heaters Save You Energy

Consuming less energy for similar or better performance is one of the key components of modern-day appliances and home features. A solar water heater will allow you to heat your water without using gas or electricity. That is because solar water heaters use a resource that is more abundant and readily available in Arizona: the sun. How Solar Water Heaters Save You Money

Of course, by cutting back on the amount of energy you use, you will also save money. But there area few more savings associated with solar water heaters.

Operating and maintaining a solar water heater, for example, typically costs far less than maintaining a standard water heater. In fact, the costs are so much less that you can own a solar water heater for twice the length of time that you would own a standard one and still only pay a tenth in operating and maintenance costs.

To put that in perspective, if the 10-year cost of your standard water heater is around $10,000, then the 20-year cost of a solar water heater would be around $1,000. Solar Water Heaters: The Specifics

So now you know that solar water heaters really can reduce your energy consumption and save you a lot of money at the same time. Here is some information about how they work.

There are actually a few different types of solar water heaters. They work as either passive or active, and all of them start with a collector and a storage tank.

  • Solar Collectors – The collector consists of an insulated box that gathers energy and heats the water. There are a few types of collectors. This is where the solar collection and water heating happens.
  • Storage Tanks – The storage tank is where the water is stored. Depending on the type of system, the tank can perform other functions. This is the water tank as you traditionally think of it.

The way the collectors and storage tanks works depends on the type of circulation system involved.

  • Active Circulation – This type of circulation uses electrically powered pumps that actively move the water through the collector and into the storage tank, and back again if necessary. Active loop systems can come in both direct and indirect varieties.
  • Direct – The solar energy heats the water and stores it in the tank
  • Indirect – The solar energy heats a fluid-like antifreeze that heats the water 
  • Passive Circulation – This type of circulation relies on physics to move water. Hot water naturally rises up into the storage tank.

In general, Arizona residents usually do well with a passive system. It is the cheapest type of solar water heater and usually the most reliable. Since it does not use electricity, it will allow you to have hot water even during blackouts.

Speak to a Professional Service that Knows Your Area

In the end, the type of system that is right for you requires consultation. You need to understand your hot water usage and the average temperatures you deal with. Speaking to a professional will go a long way towards figuring out which solar heater configuration will work best for your unique household.

Just makes sure you talk to a company that is from where you’re from and knows the best practices for water heater installations in your particular region.