Solar Water Heater Basics for Tampa Homeowners – How Does it Work?
With the abundant sunshine that Tampa homes are exposed to, it only makes sense for homeowners to invest in products that make use of solar energy, and a solar water heater is a great place to start. Solar water heaters not only benefit the environment but also are a cost-effective solution for homeowners. But in order to have a good understanding of these benefits, it’s easiest to start with the basics and consider how a solar water heater works.
How Is Water Heated?
There are actually several types of solar water heaters that operate slightly differently. Generally speaking, however, a solar water heater comprises a storage tank and solar collectors. The most common types of solar heaters, known as “active” heating systems, use pumps and controllers to circulate and heat the water; either the water itself is circulated through solar collectors to be heated, or a “heat-transfer” fluid is passed through the collectors and a heat exchanger to then heat the water. There are single-tank solar water heaters, and then there are two-tank systems. Different types of solar collectors may be used in a solar water heater system, as well.
How This Heating Process Helps the Environment and Saves Money
A conventional water heater requires electricity or natural gas to power it, which burns fossil fuels and emits carbon dioxide, contributing to pollution and ultimately global climate change. Studies estimate that an average-size family switching from an electric water heater to a solar water heater can reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by 4,000 pounds per year – that’s equivalent to driving a car 3,000 fewer miles per year! Plus, solar energy is a free energy resource, and switching to a solar water heater can reduce water heating expenses by 50 to 80 percent.
What Happens in Reduced Sun Exposure or During an Increased Need for Hot Water?
Most often, a solar water heater will use an electric- or gas-powered backup system for days with reduced sunlight or a high demand for hot water. Some solar water heating systems include a backup system as part of the package, while others work with an existing conventional water heater.
Choosing a Solar Water Heater for Your Home
Making sense of the different types of water heating systems available and calculating your potential savings doesn’t have to be difficult. Tampa-area homeowners can turn to the experts at Florida Energy Water & Air. We provide in-home consultations and will be happy to help you determine which solar water heater is right for your household. Contact us today!