Home » Solar Panels » Solar Water Heater Panels: FAQs

One of the coolest solar-powered products around? Hands down, it has to be solar water heaters. While solar energy practices and products are booming, these water heaters will always be the best and ensure piping hot water whenever you need it. There’s nothing worse than waking up to a shower with cold water, is there? Whether they’re there to heat the water throughout your house or simply to help keep the water at a great temperature in your pool, many solar hot water heater owners have simply forgotten their life without them. They’re beneficial, environmentally-friendly, and cost-effective.

But, there’s also a lot of information that one should know before jumping on the bandwagon to get piping hot water from solar energy. Like any solar-powered practice or product, there is a lot of information that comes attached with solar-powered water heaters; therefore, there’s a ton of frequently asked questions.

We’re here to make your life easier. Therefore, we’ve rounded up the top FAQs related to solar water heater panels and their many uses and put together this list to answer them all and check them off our list. We’re obviously huge proponents of going solar and bringing some clean, green energy sources into our everyday lives, but that doesn’t mean we think you should start this foray blindly. The more information you know, the better.

How exactly does a solar water heater system work?

Let’s start with the basics: how exactly does a solar hot water heater system work? To keep it simple, every single solar water heater panel and the system works with one fundamental goal: to process the sun’s light, heat, and rays to form an energy system that powers and heats the water. Basically, once this energy is “collected” by the solar collector, the water can be heated almost directly or the energy will heat a working fluid that can then cause the water to rise in temperature. And, unlike an electric water heater, modern heaters that utilize solar power use renewable energy to reduce our carbon footprint.

Now, there are different systems, so how the water is actually heated can differ depending on the model and the company that makes them. There is an active solar-powered water heater system that consists of a pumping mechanism that then moves the heated water throughout your home or building. There is also a passive solar-powered water heater system that moves by more natural convection. However, as we talked about above, every single water heating system has the same goal in mind, which is to heat the water through the energy converted from the sun.

For the most part, the majority of water heating systems will work with the more conventional electric or gas water heating system that may be already in place in your home or residence. A lot of the time, these conventional systems will still operate when they are needed to, just in case the water or efficiency from the solar water heating system falters in any way. The goal is to always have a reliable stream of heated water and these more conventional forms are there just in case!

Are there different types of solar water heaters?

Yes, there are!  There are a variety of different types of solar water heaters and solar water heating systems and they all have different benefits and different weaknesses. Now, finding the right heating water panel for you might take some time, and we always recommend going to talk to a specialist in your area that knows what would be great for your home and your state. Weather and solar conditions are different everywhere so it’s always highly recommended that you talk with someone that knows just what you’re dealing with specifically.

Can I use solar water heating systems and heat up my pool?

Yes!  In fact, this is one of the main ways solar water heater panels are used in America! It’s incredibly common to use water heating systems to heat up your pool. In fact, solar pool heaters can even increase your pool’s water temperature by about 10 degrees or more, which means swimming season can last just a little bit longer. Any way to keep summer around just a little bit longer is a good thing, right?

Can a solar water heating system replace a conventional gas or electric water heating system completely?

Not exactly! We touched on this a bit above, but let’s dive a bit deeper in. Basically, conventional electric or gas water heating systems are important to keep around for worse-case scenarios. What if the sun is behind heavy clouds days at a time, leaving your solar-powered water heating system unable to do the work it was made to do? Do you really want to shower in cold water consistently during this time, especially if this happens in the winter?

Scenarios like this are not ideal, which is why electric or gas water heating systems are great to have as a supplement to your new solar water heating system.

Just because your conventional water heating systems are still in place doesn’t mean that you’re not getting a return on your investment. By using a solar-powered water heating system, you’re reducing the use of conventional fuels, which means you’re reducing your overall gas or electric bill.

How much money can I save by switching over to a solar water heating system?

It’s complicated to say, as each and everyone can have different results. Based on where you live and what the weather patterns have been like can really determine the amount you can save. There are many factors to determining how much money you can save and some of these factors do include how much you currently pay on your conventional water heating system.

If you are really curious and don’t want to make the leap to solar water heating before learning more about this, call up an expert in your area and ask them what others have saved. This can help you see just how a solar water heating system can benefit you.

While everyone is different and can have different results, a good solar water heating system can actually power about 80% of your water heating needs. This is a substantial amount that is being used in place of your conventional water heating system, which means that your overall power or electric bill is bound to go down. Just how much your bill can decrease is hard to say, but (as I’m sure you know) there’s always a plus to renewable energy practices being used in the home and saving you money in the long run!