You’ve decided to get a solar water heating system. That’s great! It will lower your energy bills and raise your home’s value. Now, how do you go about getting your solar water heater installed?
First and foremost, make sure you’re complying with all applicable building codes, zoning requirements, subdivision rules, and homeowner’s association rules, and get any necessary building permits before you start on your project.
Obviously, you will need a good place to situate your solar panels or collectors. This should be an unshaded area where the panels can soak up all the sunlight they can get. These are usually placed on your roof facing south or west. If your home is very shaded or surrounded by trees, it may be possible to place your collectors away from the house, or you may have to prune some tree limbs to get enough sunlight. If you don’t have a ready sunny area on your roof, consult a professional about your options.
You’ll also need to determine if you have space to add a second or larger water tank, since many solar water heaters require a preheating tank or a heat booster mechanism. If you lack the space for that, your options are limited to single-tank systems. Keep in mind that the U.S. Department of Energy recommends a medium-sized tank (80 gallons) for 3-4 people and a large tank for 4-6 people. Really consider your space if you need a larger tank or a dual-tank system.
Choose a good, trusted brand of solar water heater. Some well-reviewed brands include Heliatos (known for high efficiency and good documentation), SunChaser, Duda (which has a wide variety of size options), and AO Smith (which offers versatility through multiple options and configurations).
Some solar water heating systems are fairly easily assembled on your own with some basic plumbing and electrical knowledge, and they are ready to install right out of the box. However, if you’re using a more complex system or you’re unsure about the installation in any way, be sure to call in a professional, or else you risk damage to the system or other parts of your building! We’ll be happy to help you get your system set up correctly and safely.
The Brian Wear Plumbing team has been providing quality plumbing services to the mid-Missouri area for decades. We look forward to helping you with all your plumbing needs. For more information or to schedule a service call, contact us today!