If you thought solar energy was all about powering cars and being used as backup power for homes, think again. A number of homeowners and commercial facility owners are beginning to understand how their energy and water costs spike with regular water heating appliances. The solution? Solar water heaters! Solar water heaters are a great long-term investment. Not only are they better for the environment, but they also help save big! According to the US Department of energy, 10% - 15% of a single family home’s monthly utility bill is spent on water heater charges. Before purchasing cost-effective solar water heaters, take a look at these valuable tips to save time and money.
Determine If Your Site Is Suitable
Does your house or apartment building have an accessible roof where the solar water heater can be installed?
As direct rays of the sun are needed to power the water heater, make sure your roof is open and there aren’t any structures, shade or furniture blocking the sun. The roof structure should be strong and sturdy to carry the weight of the solar panel and the water tank. The panels need to be tilted and directed to the South for better access to sunlight.
Investigate Local Codes and Regulations
Find out about local building codes, zoning ordinances, and subdivision convents before installing a solar water heating system. You will most likely need a local building permit to install any protrusions on the roof.
Decide What Type of System Meets Your Needs and Lifestyle
First, understand how solar water heaters work and then decide the size and type of system to install. Go through the product list. Read the specifications and ask for an expert opinion before selecting. A solar water heater includes storage tanks and solar collectors (panels). For storage tank size, consider your current water heater capacity. Solar air vents, circulating pumps, a sensor controller and a pressure and freeze valve need to be added for protection against cold and hot climate.
What Is Your Budget?
With standard prices falling, domestic solar water heater units are relatively inexpensive as they last for a long time. Solar parts, panels, and valves are sold individually. Just call your contractor and ask them to break down the costs, from product price to installation costs.
Contact A Solar Contractor or Manufacturer
It’s best to contact a licensed and insured contractor that guarantees quality products and installations. Make sure the contractor is certified and has a team of technicians with experience in the field. Ask for references, read online reviews, and request cost estimates in writing.