If you are tired of high water heating bills, a roof solar collector can harness the free energy from the sun to heat water. Since the sun does not shine all the time, though, you could at times find yourself without enough hot water for your shower—at night or on a grey day.
A tankless water heater can provide an energy efficient backup. Together, the solar-tankless water heaters are an energy saving combo.
Tankless Water Heater
Tankless water heaters save on energy by only heating water as it is needed. Cold water flows into the heater where it is heated for immediate use. Traditional hot water heaters, in contrast, use a lot of gas or electric fuel to continually heat a tank of water.
Your tankless water heater can snugly fit into any area of your home. Popular places are under the basement stairs, on the laundry room wall, or in the attic.
Active Solar Water Heating System
The solar water is heated when solar collectors on your roof absorb radiation from the sun. A direct or indirect circulation system then heats the water. Which type of solar water heater you should buy depends on your climate.
If you live in a warm climate, a direct system pumps cold water through the solar collectors for heating. If you live in a cold climate, a heat transfer fluid with a low freezing point passes through the collectors. A heat exchanger then heats the water.
Passive Solar Water Heating System
The most popular form of a passive solar water heater is the integral-collector storage system. The system passes the water through the heat collector and then transfers the warm water into a storage tank.
The Water Heater Combo
Your tankless water heater repair and installation service can advise you on the best way to connect the two systems. When you turn on the hot water tap for your shower, typically a temperature sensor determines whether the water in the solar water heater tank is hot enough. The temperature level is preset in advance.
If the solar heated water is warm enough, the hot water will be drawn from there. If not, the tankless water heater will heat the water to the desired temperature. If hot water is first drawn from the solar heater but it runs out, not to worry. The tankless system will kick in so you can enjoy a long shower.
The combined system solves the shortcomings of some tankless systems—running out of water for a long shower when the washing machine is also running. With regular solar water and tankless water heater maintenance, you can look forward to lower energy bills. Be sure to check regularly for maintenance issues and contact a tankless water heater repair contractor in case of any problems