Does a Solar Water Heater Work?
There’s a reason they call Florida the Sunshine State; cities across the region experience between 240 and 270 bright and beautiful days every year. That’s around nine months of picnics, patio barbecues, and pool parties. If you’re considering investing in a solar water heater for your Florida house, there’s also the potential for nine months of savings. However, before you sign on the dotted line, you may find yourself wondering whether a solar water heating system actually works. Will this be a smart investment, or will you be resigning yourself to perpetually tepid showers?
While the performance of any solar water heater depends on the unique system specifications, there’s good news for those looking to invest in renewable energy resources: Most solar water heating systems work really well. This is true whether you’re evaluating them based on the amount of hot water they produce, the amount of money you’ll save on monthly energy bills, or the amount of time you can go before replacing your system.
A solar water heater works by cycling fluid between solar collectors on your roof and a heat exchanger in your water heating system. The exchanger transfers the solar energy to your water tank, heating the water you’ll use for showers, loads of laundry, and washing the dishes to piping hot temperatures. In the sunniest climates, a solar water heating system will provide you with water temperatures of up to 180 degrees—plenty warm enough for your household’s needs.
What happens when the sun goes down? Most solar water heaters are installed with a backup electric or gas system. This guarantees that you always have access to the hot water you need, even as you save money by drawing the vast majority of your water from your home’s solar system.
Speaking of savings, most homeowners find that solar water heating systems have a noticeable impact on their monthly energy bills. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that the cost of operating traditional gas or electric water heaters accounts for around 25% of a household’s monthly energy payments. Installing a solar water heater can cut that number by up to 80%, keeping more money in your pocket. This is especially true if you take advantage of the federal and state tax incentives that help cover solar investment costs.
Additionally, a solar water heater can protect you from fuel shortages and price spikes in the future. During the 1970s, the energy crisis drove the price of traditional fuel sources to record rates. This led many homeowners to invest in solar water heating systems as a way to keep monthly bills manageable and safeguard their quality of life. Improved technology makes this investment smarter than ever in this day and age.
Not only do solar water heating systems work effectively and efficiently, but they also work for far longer than their gas or electric counterparts. Routine annual maintenance extends the lifespan of most traditional water heaters to between 8 and 12 years, with certain high-performing systems making it to the age of 15. Solar water heaters can double that lifespan. While most systems will require a replacement part or two after the first decade, it’s likely you won’t have to replace your water heater for at least 20 years. In fact, several companies report performing maintenance on functioning solar water heating systems installed during the energy crisis of the 1970s!
You won’t find many products that offer the same kind of high performance and long-lasting reliability as solar water heaters. If you’re ready to make the investment for your Florida home, there’s no better place to turn than Florida Energy Water & Air. Contact us today to learn more about our products and service.