Using solar power to provide hot water to your home

There are a number of ways to heat the water for your home. When looking at different systems, whether you’re doing some renovations or are building a new home, there are a few factors to consider. You’ll probably consider cost, economic benefits, energy efficiency, impacts on the environment, and what is going to work best for the amount of water use in your home.

In this piece, we look at the pros and cons of having a solar water heater.

What is a solar water heater?

You may have a general idea of how solar powered energy works. Similar to solar-powered batteries or solar powered garden lights, sunlight is used to provide power to an appliance. The energy source for a solar water heater comes from solar panels.

Solar panels (usually made of silicon) are installed on the roof of your home where they absorb sunlight, which is then converted into DC (Direct Current) electricity. An inverter then converts this into AC (alternating current) electricity, available for use in your home.

This electricity harnessed is then used to heat water, either through a central heating system or by using a solar hot water cylinder.

The pros of using a solar water heater

  1. The obvious benefit of using a solar water heating system involves the environmental and sustainable advantages. Using a natural resource like sunlight reduces the need for other power sources. This is essentially a carbon-free way to generate electricity and heat.
  2. There are cost-saving benefits. Because sunlight is a renewal energy source, you won’t be subject to the impact of supply and demand on energy prices. While there is an initial upfront investment of installing solar panels, the savings you’ll see on your monthly power bill outweighs this.
  3. The value of your home increases. Many people love the idea of using solar power and having solar power water heating, but they are hesitant to install a system. With solar panels, you’ll find your home is attractive to a larger audience of interested buyers if and when you decide to sell it.
  4. It’s easy to find solar-compatible hot water cylinders. These are becoming more and more common, and Regency Plumbing can install and maintain a solar power hot water cylinder for you. They’re easy to look after, needing no extra maintenance than you would have with a gas or electric water cylinder.

The cons of using a solar water heater

  1. Solar water heating systems are weather dependent. They are best suited for sunnier climates, so if you live in an area of New Zealand that doesn’t get a lot of sunlight, you may find your home’s electricity stores depleted. You may also need to have gas hot water backup.
  2. The initial installation costs are worth considering. These costs are coming down as solar power is becoming more common. But it is a long-term investment with long-term benefits.

The Regency Plumbing team is experienced in installing and maintaining solar water heating systems. If you’d like to find out the process and costs involved for your home, please get in touch and we can help determine if solar water heating is best for you. Give Regency Plumbing a call.

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