5 THINGS YOU MUST KNOW BEFORE INSTALLING A SOLAR WATER HEATER IN PHOENIX, AZ
FEB 23, 2018
Are you thinking about replacing your water heater? Here’s the thing: Traditional water heaters typically consume more energy than all of your appliances combined. So while finding energy efficient appliances is all well and good, if you are serious about reducing your home’s energy consumption (whether for a love of the environment or your wallet), you have to consider a solar water heater. This is doubly true for folks in this neck of the woods — the abundant sunshine makes installing a solar water heater in Phoenix, AZ an especially attractive choice. Here is a breakdown of what you should know before you take the plunge.
INSTALLING A SOLAR WATER HEATER IN PHOENIX, AZ
Gas and electricity are the predominant energy sources for most households. Alternative energy sources are becoming an increasingly accessible option for homeowners everywhere. And with all of the sunny days we get here in Arizona, solar is an especially good choice for most homes. But what should you know before installing a solar water heater for your home in Phoenix?
SINGLE-TANK VS. TWO-TANK SOLAR WATER HEATERS
Most solar water heating systems actually also incorporate conventional energy sources as well — though much less than a traditional water heater. This is typically as a backup. With a single-tank water heater, for instance, let’s say it is night time and you have used up all of the solar-heated water in the storage tank. This is when the electric backup would kick in to ensure that you can still take a hot shower or run the dishwasher before you go to bed. Single-tank solar water heaters can not be integrated with a gas system. If not installed properly, the efficiency gained by incorporating solar energy can be drastically diminished. This is just one of the reasons to ensure that a professional installation is completed by a knowledgeable and reputable plumber. But, assuming proper installation, single-tank solar water heaters are a good choice for anyone concerned with the physical space taken up by the unit.
Two-tank solar water heaters have an advantage in that they can also be integrated with a gas or electric water heating system as the backup. These water heaters work by feeding solar-heated water into the backup tank as well as the primary. The conventional energy source kicks in and begins to heat water when the water in the tank is not hot enough.
With either the single-tank or two-tank system (or any water heater for that matter), insulating the tank properly is another key to maximizing efficiency. If you are not reliant on gas for your backup heating source (and therefore have more leeway in your choice between a single-tank or two-tank system), the right choice for you will be dependent on your household’s water consumption habits. Before you install any type of solar water heater, speak with a professional who will take the time to learn about those habits and make a recommendation that will work best for you.
TANKLESS WATER HEATERS ARE AN OPTION
Although not as common as the storage-style solar water heaters, there are some solar water heating systems that use a tankless water heater as the backup source in case the solar-heated water is not hot enough. In these instances, the tankless unit would deliver just enough water heated by the conventional energy source to bring the temperature up based on specific settings. If space is a primary concern, ask a plumber if this may be a good option for you.
WHAT SIZE SOLAR WATER HEATER DO YOU NEED?
As with picking the size for any type of water heater, the size of tank you require will depend on your household’s water consumption: things like how much hot water you use and at which times of day — a factor of heightened importance when sizing a solar water heater. First, read our recent article, “How Big Should My Water Heater Be?” Then, talk to a professional about the specifics of your situation to come up with a precise estimate of the ideal size of your solar water heater, along with recommendations for which type of system to get.
YOU MAY QUALIFY FOR REBATES FROM THE UTILITY COMPANY
Who is your utilities provider? SRP currently offers rebates for customers installing solar water heaters in Phoenix, AZ and the surrounding areas. This program is to help meet the company’s goals of promoting energy efficiency. Not with SRP? Call your provider and ask them if they have any rebates available. You would be surprised at how much some power companies are willing to invest to help you become more energy efficient.
FEDERAL AND STATE TAX CREDITS
In additional to rebates from the utilities companies, tax credits for investing in solar water heaters may make the venture all the more worth your while. Arizona’s Residential Solar Energy Tax Credit means that if you qualify, you could deduct as much as 25 percent of the cost of the system. And while the tax credit is capped at $1,000, if by chance it exceeds your income taxes otherwise due, you can carry over a credit for up to five years.
Want to learn more to decide if installing a solar water heater is the right move for you? Don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And when it comes time for installation, be sure you look no further. We have impeccable references and all of our work is guaranteed!