A solar water heater can lower your utility bills, help the environment, and make your Yardley, Pennsylvania, home more valuable. Solar water heaters are more expensive than conventional water heaters, but your energy savings will make the investment worthwhile. Some homes may still need a backup tankless or conventional water heater for enough hot water in winter or when guests visit. A federal tax credit can lower the total cost. Many of the most popular solar water heaters have active solar, integral collector storage, or thermosyphon systems.
Active Solar Water Heating Systems
Most active solar systems heat a liquid like antifreeze instead of water. Pumps move the liquid through tubes located underneath a solar collector, and then it passes through a heat exchanger that transfers the heat to your water. These systems are also called indirect or closed-loop circulation systems, and work well in areas where temperatures may drop below freezing. Direct circulation systems pump water directly through your solar collectors, and work best in warm climates.
Integral Collector Storage Systems
An integral collector storage or batch system contains one or more black tubes or tanks in a glazed, insulated box. Cold water passes through the solar collector through gravity instead of pumps. After the water is preheated, it flows to a conventional backup water heater. This saves energy and keeps you from running out of hot water on cloudy days. Batch water heaters are inexpensive because they don’t have pumps or controls. You may need to empty your batch water heater in cold weather, though, to keep pipes from freezing.
In a thermosyphon heater, the solar collector is below a storage tank. After the collector makes the water inside warmer, the water rises to the storage tank. If no one uses it, the water will cool and go back to the solar collector. These systems are more expensive than batch systems, but they’re also more efficient.
Custom Aire can help you install, maintain, or repair your water heater or your HVAC system. Call us anytime at (215) 638-1800 for great service.