There are many different forms of solar water heaters. It can be as simple as the sun shining on a garden water hose left in the open or as complex as a multiple glass-plated, propylene glycol-filled solar collectors. But no matter if they are simple or complex, solar water heaters are always an economical option for home and commercial owners wishing to decrease water heating costs.
There are two basic types of solar water heater systems: passive and active. However, in this article, we will discuss the benefits of using the passive type.
Passive solar systems, generally speaking, are the ones that do not require any moveable parts and no outside energy source other than the sun itself.
They are usually no more as complex as a regular garden hose let out in the sun. Basically, it is a 40 gallon water tank painted in black and placed in a well insulated box which has glass or plastic on one side to allow the sun’s rays to heat the tanks.
Cold water then flows from the bottom and hot water transfers to the top, a process which is made possible by an integral collector storage system, also known as a batch heater or a bread box.
The system uses only the water pressure from your well or from the city to operate. The water coming from the system is then directed to a standard water heater, where your thermostat determines if the water is already hot enough for use or if additional heat is needed.
You can also install low flow shower heads and aerators on all your faucets. This is not only cost-effective but it also helps you conserve water and the need for hot water as well. The time of day when you shower or use water can also greatly affect how far you can stretch your solar heated water, so it is best that you are aware of these factors to get more out of your system.
Ranging in price from $800 to $1500, passive hot water systems are among the most convenient ways to incorporate solar designs into your home. And because they are so simple, most homeowners are able to create their own design, build and install passive hot water systems on their own for not more than $400.
If as a homeowner, you do not want to go on a project without professional aid, there are a many instructional videos online, blueprints and other materials readily available to the home handyman.
You can also hire a competent contractor to do the work for you to reduce the hassle. If ever you decide to choose this option, always seek for a friend’s advice or recommendations and never fail to ask potential contractors about their experience with installing the type of system you want for your home.
Always remember that all permits should be purchased and local plumbing codes should be followed whether you build the system yourself or purchase a passive system.
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