Heating Your Water With Sunshine


If you've already added solar panels to your roof to produce electricity for your home, or simply want to try a more socially responsible method of providing hot water for your home, you should check into installing a solar powered hot water heating system.

If you've ever used a garden hose that's been sitting in the sun for awhile, you'll realize the potential of solar power for heating water. There are different types of solar water heaters, and your choice will often depend upon the climate in your area, along with various other factors.

What are your choices in solar water heater installation?

If you live in an area with a temperate climate, you can use passive solar water heating. Water is stored on a rooftop tank and heated with specially designed solar panels. It is then fed by gravity fed into your home. No fossil fuels are used.

An active system is used in climates that experience sub-freezing temperatures. Ethylene glycol (like the antifreeze in your vehicle) is heated by rooftop solar panels and pumped to a heat exchanger inside the home. This heat exchanger transfers the heat from the glycol to water that is stored inside a traditional insulated hot water tank. You can use your old hot water tank if you are switching from a traditional hot water heater. This method requires limited fossil fuel use for the production of electricity to power the equipment.

Will solar provide enough hot water for your needs?

The use of solar power for heating water may suffer from the same problem as producing electricity, which is limited storage capacity. Cloudy overcast days may curtail the amount of sunlight available for heating water. This may not be a problem for families with limited use, but larger families may experience a hot water shortage.

Tankless hot water heaters to the rescue

Tankless water heaters are the perfect compliment to solar models. Tankless units heat water on demand, using energy only for heating and not for storage as in traditional tank type water heaters.

You can choose from tankless units that can heat water for the entire home or for isolated locations within the home. A tankless heater in a bathroom can provide unlimited hot water for showers or other needs when a solar heating system is hampered by bad weather.

While the initial cost of solar and/or tankless water heater installation is much more expensive than simply replacing a traditional hot water tank, both solar and tankless heaters will lower your carbon footprint and save money on energy bills. It may take years to recoup the installation costs through energy savings, but you can't place a price on protecting the environment by heating your water with sunshine. For more information, contact a business such as Rolling Bay Plumbing.


17 July 2017

A New Kind of Piping Makes DIY Plumbing Easier

My homes have always had either copper or PVC plumbing pipes. But when my plumbing system needed an overhaul last spring, I wanted a piping system for my home that I could work on myself when needed. There were a lot of good reasons to choose PEX piping, but my favorite thing about the PEX piping is that it's easy to work with, even if you're a beginner like me. Now I can make small repairs myself instead of calling the plumber every time I have a minor leak or other small problem. I still call the plumber for the big stuff, but it's more affordable now that I can take care of small issues myself. I started this blog to help others learn how they, too, can do DIY plumbing repairs at home.