JUL 14, 2014

During the hot months of summer, many homeowners consider the benefits of using energy from the sun to power their homes. Solar water heating is one option that can help homeowners in various regions save money. Homeowners interested in installing one of these systems should consider the following factors to determine whether home-based solar water heaters are the ideal solution.

Local Codes

Many homeowners interested in using a solar hot water system run into problems with local codes, ordinances, or covenants. Installing solar cells usually requires a permit, but some communities will not permit installation. Even if it is allowed, a poorly chosen rooftop system may violate codes on roof loading, water treatment, and side yard obstruction. Homeowners should speak to their building and zoning departments and homeowner’s associations to make sure a solar heating system will be welcome.

Sun Exposure

Solar panels work best on flat roofs with southern exposure. However, panels can be installed on sloped roofs, and roofs facing east or west with a southern component may still collect enough sunlight if the local climate is sunny. If a roof is obstructed by trees or otherwise does not receive a full amount of sunshine, however, it may not be suitable.

Maintenance and Access

Finally, people considering a solar water heater should be realistic about whether they can look after it. Homeowners will need to climb onto the roof annually to conduct an inspection or hire a professional to do it. For homeowners who meet all of these criteria, though, a solar water heater is an investment that can pay off for years. Call (602) 870-6840 today to speak with an expert at Donley Service Center about solar water heaters.