Taking advantage of the indispensable energy from the sun for various uses in your home is a way to reduce your reliance on electricity and cut down your bills. One effective way to tap the sun's energy is using a solar hot water system. There are lots of solar hot water systems in the markets so choosing one for your home can be a task, especially if you are a novice. Therefore, to help you with the selection, here are a few quick tips.
Know The Main Types Available
Solar hot water systems come in two major types: active and passive. Knowing when to use which system will pay off in terms of efficiency of the system. An active system uses circulating pumps to circulate your household water through the system. These pumps are run by electricity so in terms of energy efficiency, these active systems may not measure up so well. Active solar hot water systems also rely on electrical controllers such as temperature controllers. These controllers are actually crucial because they effectively monitor the temperature of the water from the solar collector and the one in your storage tank. When the water in the solar collector is warmer than the one in the storage tank to a certain degree, the pump is turned on and when the temperature difference reaches a certain level, the pump is turned off. This prevents overheating as well as frequent pump cycling.
On the other hand, a passive system is much simpler because it relies on the natural principle of convection where warmer water will rise to the top and the cooler water will sink to the bottom and this facilitates the circulation of hot water in the system. It doesn't rely on pumps so it's much energy efficient and usually costs less. However, since there are no control systems, it can be susceptible to issues of freezing or overheating. Passive systems are excellent for small sized households where demand for hot water is low.
Know Your Climate
Solar hot water systems derive their power from the sun. Therefore, the climate pattern in your area will help you find the most suitable solar hot water system for your home, especially in terms of size. For instance, if you live in a warmer and sunny region, you can expect to generate a higher amount of hot water with a relatively smaller solar hot water system that you would with the same-sized system in a cooler climate. For a warmer climate, a passive system may work well. For colder climates, you may want to go for a larger system that will trap as much solar energy as possible. Also, if the area experiences extremely cold temperatures at times such as during the night, you have to go for an active system that will prevent freezing.Share