A Sunny Choice: Solar Hot Water Heating

Solar water heating systems have become a more viable option for more people today as the technology has advanced and the prices have come down. It takes a lot of energy to heat the water that comes into the home, especially for larger households. The hot water is used for such a variety of purposes, such as washing clothes, showering, washing dishes and other activities. This can place a large burden on the family through gas or electric bills, and having a solar hot water heating unit can help with this cost in the long run.


If an individual lives in a colder climate where there is a big freeze for several months of the winter, then there are not as many options in solar hot water heating units since the water can tend to freeze in the pipes, not getting enough heat from the sun. For those that live in milder climates, having a solar hot water heater can be an excellent choice, conserving cost and also the environment through the use of the unit. In addition, the individual can also have solar roofing panels installed which can help with the energy costs for the rest of the home, such as electricity to power lights and other pieces of equipment. In some cases where the home gets a lot of sunlight throughout the year and has a south facing section of roof, the individuals may reduce their electric bill to nothing, or even get a check from the electric company as they sell the extra energy their solar panels provide.

There are two general types of solar hot water heating units on the market and each type has two styles of units in it. The first is the active solar hot water heating unit, which has a type of pump in it so that the water is circulated through the solar panel to better heat the water. There are direct circulation systems that circulate the water in the home through the collection system and there are the indirect circulation systems which circulate heat transfer fluid through the collection system and also a heat exchanger. This second type is usually used in freezing climates so that the water does not freeze during the circulation process. The other type of solar hot water heating system is the passive system which has integral collector storage systems and thermosyphon systems. Neither of these systems is usually used in climates where there are freezing temperatures for most of the winter months since the water will freeze in the system.

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