Following on from our earlier articles about filtered water and water tanks we all know of the importance of clean healthy water. This was brought even further to attention this week when we celebrate World Plumbing Day. This day was brought about to raise awareness of the precious commodity that is drinking water, and to highlight that we are all responsible for protecting this resource.
These topics are never more important than here in Australia, the driest continent on earth. Our average sunshine hours range from 8 hours each day on the east coast, and up to 10 hours a day on the west coast! That is a LOT of sunshine. So we know that we need to take care of our water, and we know that we have a lot of sunshine. What better way then to apply both of these than to replace your old inefficient hot water system with a new solar hot water system?
This week is all about water, and today’s blog is no different. Read on to learn about the benefits of Solar Hot Water Systems, and how you can get one installed in your home.
How Does A Solar Hot Water System Work?
Solar hot water systems use solar collectors to capture energy from sunlight and transfer that energy to heat your water. There are two types of solar collectors available:
- Saves space in the home with the tank normally roof mounted
- Can be cheaper to install
- Offer a larger exposed surface area to capture more heat
- More efficient at transferring heat (especially in Australian conditions)
- Can be used in subzero temperatures (use solutions that won’t freeze)
- Easier to maintain with seperate replaceable components
- Provide excellent performance in overcast conditions
- Require less roof area
- Suffer less from corrosion
Speak to your local plumber, or solar installer to find out which will suit your situation best.
Even on cloudy days solar systems can still capture heat, although it won’t be as efficient as during full sunlight. If this isn’t enough to keep your water warm then a booster (either electric or gas) is used and will kick in when the temperature below a certain level. These boosters will then automatically switch off again when the temperature rises. Gas boosters are typically more enviromentally friendly than a electric booster.
While solar systems generally cost more initially to purchase and install when compared to electric water heaters or gas water heaters, that extra cost will be recovered over the life of the system through reduced energy bills. Savings are best seen:
- In larger households
- In warmer climates
- Where there is plenty of access to sunlight.
The overall benefits of solar hot water should outweigh the upfront cost:
- Long term saving
- Reduced greenhouse gases your home contributes to
- Renewable energy resource