Solar Water Heaters: Choosing The Right Type

Solar water heaters provide the same quality of hot water you expect from other types of water heaters, but they are better for the environment and help save you money. They are ideal for any climate, and the only fuel they use to heat up your water is the sunshine. You can imagine how beneficial this is for your home and reducing your carbon footprint. When it comes to choosing solar hot water heaters, there are a few things to consider. Here is more information about how to choose the type of water heater that is right for you.

Active Solar Water Heaters

The first type of solar water heater is an active one. These water heaters use circulation systems throughout the home. One of these is a direct circulation system, which allows the hot water to circulate throughout the home by using a pump. There are collectors in the heater that supply the hot water to different parts of the home. If you live somewhere that doesn't get freezing temperatures, this is a good water heater to choose.

You can also get an indirect circulation system, which is for climates that do get freezing temperatures. This hot water heater pumps a heat-transfer fluid to the collectors that prevents freezing of the water and the heater exchanger.

Passive Solar Water Heaters

There are also passive solar hot water heaters, which tend to be more cost-effective and less expensive to install than the active hot water heaters. However, they may not be as efficient. On the bright side, they have a tendency to last longer. There are also two types of passive solar water heaters, including an integral collector storage heater, and a thermosiphon heater. The thermosiphon heater allows the water to flow through a system as cool water sinks and warm water rises. The collector is installed underneath the storage tank.

The integral collector storage water heater is good if you live somewhere with frequent below-freezing temperatures. The collectors will gather and store hot water and gradually introduce it through your home when you use a faucet that requires hot water.

Selecting the Right Water Heater

Based on these different types of solar hot water heaters, you should consider the cost, longevity, effectiveness, and your own climate to find the right one. Some water heaters cost less to install, but they might not be best for a freezing climate. Others are great for freezing climates, but the maintenance costs tend to be more. Contact an HVAC technician at a website like to discuss your options and find the one that best fits your home.