Your energy bill depends on a variety of factors. One of these is how often you use your water heater—one of the most energy-hungry appliances in your home. Other than the frequency of use, your bill also depends on how energy efficient the system is. If it wastes too much heat, you’ll see yourself paying a lot more than what you usually do.
For all the reasons mentioned above, a solar water heater is one of the most feasible options for both residential and commercial water heating needs, especially in sunny South Florida.
Just as the name suggests, a solar water heater uses solar energy and converts it into heat. This energy is then transmitted to the water. The system comprises flat plates which are erected at a spot where sunlight is abundant—mostly on rooftops. It’s also positioned in a way that the surface faces the sun directly. The size of the panel varies according to your use case.
These panels are then connected to a boiler. This is where the heat exchange takes place. The heat which was collected by the panels is used to heat up the water. The energy is transferred via a system of copper wires and a circuit of pipes. After the heat is passed on to the tank, cold water travels back to the collector upstairs to absorb more heat.
A solar water heater’s efficiency is determined by its solar energy factor (SEF). The higher this value, the more efficient your solar heater is.
In terms of efficiency, solar water heaters are better than electric heaters in a number of ways. The biggest advantage is that solar water heaters use a natural resource that is also renewable. Sunlight doesn’t come at a cost and the world will never run out of it. This means that your running cost is a lot lower, since you don’t depend on your local power company and you’re not burning fossil fuels. This is the reason solar water heaters are considered a viable option for those who want lower bills.
Other than that, a solar water heater even provides warm water on a cloudy day when the sun is not out. It uses the energy diffused in the atmosphere to do so. This fortunately doesn’t cost you anything extra.
Solar water heaters also require less maintenance compared to other options and, therefore, further lessen running costs. It’s a one-time investment with a relatively short payback period.