The Benefits of a Solar Water Heater
One item that every home out there has is a hot water heater. Whether doing the dishes, washing the clothes, taking a shower or just splashing some water in your face in the morning, that hot water tank gets a lot of use, and thus is uses up a lot of electricity. One great way to save money on electricity without sacrificing your hot water is to purchase a solar water heater.
Different solar heaters have different functions, but most work by using the sun’s energy to promote the flow of heat-conducting liquid around tubes which heat up water before it moves on to be stored in the main tank. The water heats up tremendously and the incredibly insulated body of the storage heater keeps it hot for a long time. So even if it’s 4 a.m. and the sun is long gone, you can still have hot water on demand.
Apartments probably don’t have quite enough room for a solar water heater, but most homes will. The only exceptions may be row houses or town-homes that are stacked against each other. However, they do make smaller, more efficient models of solar water heaters to fit smaller spaces. So the simple answer is that you can probably find a solar heater for any type of home.
As long as you’re getting some sun throughout the day, it really doesn’t matter what type of climate you live in. It could be in northern Maine in the middle of a harsh winter, and as long as you’re getting some sun, the solar heater is going to create hot water. Perhaps the water may not be quite as hot as it would be in another climate during another part of the year, but it will still heat up and provide for your water needs.
The size of your water heater all depends on the particular size of your home, the size of your family, and your overall water needs. A family of 5 in a 2-bathroom home can usually get by just fine with a 50-gallon water heater. This is the typical size of a solar heater, although they are available in larger sizes. But anything around 50 gallons should take care of the average family’s needs sufficiently.
Most homes already have a designated area for a water heater. It’s not as if water heaters weren’t invented and you’re suddenly just finding out about this appliance. Depending on the model of the heater, you may need more space for the batch collector and the different tubes, but the heater itself can be installed where the old heater was. Your tubes and collector can maybe be put in some attic space.
Solar heaters are self-contained units and you won’t need to operate strictly off of solar power to operate one. However, if you are running your home off of solar panels, perhaps you should still think about a solar heater so that you’re draining less of your energy stores.
With a solar heater, you’re producing free and clean hot water around the clock. These appliances are surprisingly efficient, and if you’re really considering going green, every home should consider the investment.