Solar hot water systems are an excellent way to save money when it comes to your energy bills. By making good use of the Australian sun, you are maximising natural energy resources to heat the water in your home rather than creating carbon emissions, which pollute the Earth.
However, solar hot water systems should be properly used and maintained to make sure that they are running efficiently. Many owners of solar hot water systems don’t know how to properly use them, which results in a huge loss of energy and money.
Hogan Hot Water & Air Conditioning wants to share our top 5 tips to improve your solar hot water system so you can make sure you are getting the most out of your investment.
1. Adequately insulate the cylinder and pipes
Insulating your cylinder and pipes will make your system more efficient. Solar hot water systems with poorly insulated cylinders and pipes can result in inadequate hot water provision, especially in the mornings and other peak water usage hours.
By insulating the cylinder and pipes that store the water heated by your solar panels, you can keep the water warm during the hours when the sun isn’t shining. You can also add insulation to the feed lines for maximum efficiency.
2. Use boiler timers and solar controllers
A solar controller will allow you to attain the highest efficiency from sunlight, even if it is limited, and ensure that your household’s water is only heated by the boiler after the water has reached the maximum temperature possible from your solar collector.
Most solar hot water systems tend to run out of sufficient hot water after the sun has left the panels during the night or early morning. By using your boiler timer to heat your water in the morning, you can give your solar hot water system the opportunity to heat as much hot water as possible from the solar-heated supply, so you don’t have to heat your water using electricity later in the day.
3. Soften your water
The chances are that if you live in a hard water area, your energy bills will be significantly higher than if you were living in a soft water area.
Hard water exists naturally in certain regions of New South Wales and contains minerals that can deposit and build up inside the pipes of your solar hot water system, reducing its efficiency.
By installing a water softener in your home, you can protect your solar hot water system while reducing the amount of deposits in other appliances in your home, such as the washing machine and dishwasher.
Some residents in NSW can check their water quality online through a real-time quality report.
4. Install a sufficient tank for your needs
Many homeowners find it difficult to get the balance between the output of the collectors and the size of the water storage cylinder right. If you purchase a cylinder that is too small, or a collector that is too large for the tank size, you will end up not being able to store all the generated heat.
On the other hand, if the collector is too small for the tank size, the panels will not be able to generate enough energy to heat the water to your desired temperature, meaning you will have to depend on a backup source for heating.
5. Don’t forget regular maintenance checks
Solar hot water systems are generally straightforward, so they require little maintenance – but occasional checks are still necessary, as with any water heating system.
By carrying out regular maintenance checks you can make sure your solar hot water system is working to the best of its ability. While conducting a maintenance check, you should look out for any damage, loose wiring or leaks.
Your installer may specify that your solar hot water system requires a maintenance check by an accredited professional every few years. Hogan Hot Water & Air Conditioning are experts at repairing and servicing solar hot water systems and can advise you on how to get the most out of your system.
If you need to service, repair, install or replace a household solar hot water system in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Maitland or Central Coast give us a call on 0488 029 618.