Water heaters are one of the largest electricity consumers that increase your bill at the end of every month, and not many people seem to be aware that there’s a cheaper, practical alternative – solar water heating systems. Solar water heating systems utilise the sun to ensure you have hot water available in your residential or commercial building all year round.
There’s a misconception that solar water heating isn’t effective throughout the colder, cloudy months of the year, but the matter of fact is – the sun is always there, and a decent portion of its rays make it through the clouds right to your solar panels. But besides ensuring you have hot water all year round, the other obvious benefit is the reduced energy bill. You only have the initial price of setting up the system to pay, then you get free hot water, forever. Lastly, solar systems are environmentally friendly, meaning you leave a significantly lower carbon footprint and considerably reduce your carbon dioxide emissions.
When looking for a solar hot water system for sale, you’ll come across two basic types – one that uses evacuated tubes and one that uses flat plate collectors. Regardless of which type you end up choosing, they operate in the same fashion. You have solar panels fitted to your roof which absorb the heat from the sun and use it to heat up water that’s stored in a hot water cylinder. However, there are a couple of more factors to consider when looking for a solar hot water system for sale.
First and foremost, you need to have a place that’s exposed to the sun enough to put your panels on. Typically, this space is about 5 square metres of roof space that receives direct sunlight for the largest part of the day. However, the panels don’t necessarily need to be mounted on a roof. They can hang from a wall or be fixed to a frame.
Furthermore, you need to consider whether you have space for an extra or larger hot water cylinder. If you don’t have a dedicated solar cylinder in place you’ll typically have to replace the existing cylinder, or add one with a dedicated solar heating coil.
Lastly, you need to consider whether your current boiler is compatible with solar water heating. Most generic boilers and cylinders are compatible, but if you have a combi boiler and you don’t have a hot water tank, the solar water heating system may not be compatible.