Around here we enjoy being green, I just wished we lived in Colorado to enjoy even more greenery! We believe that for the world to be a better place, we need to depend more on renewable energy. Sounds like some hippy talk, I know, and it pretty much is. Going green can mean a variety of things, and any effort you make at doing it will be beneficial for the planet, you, and the people around you. We installed a solar hot water heater in our office last year and felt great doing it. The water is just as hot as it was with the electric water heater, sorry, nothing super cool to share here. We are excited to say though; we created a list of our top solar water heaters for anyone that may be thinking about converting over to renewable energy. Before we get to the list though, I thought I would fill you in on how this works.
Solar water heaters use solar energy to generate the heat needed to warm your water. So instead of sucking power off the pipeline of your city grid, you are essentially creating your own source of energy from the sun. It’s always nice not to be dependent on anyone, in my opinion, city utility companies is a great way to start. Unfortunately, you can’t completely cut ties with these guys, but you can definitely lessen your energy dependencies. This becomes very beneficial during a power outage, the central heating system might not run, but you can take a hot shower if the place starts getting cold in the winter. That alone is worth the conversion, especially if you have lived anywhere cold during the winters. There are also options for solar pool heaters.
The process is super simple. Cold water is moved to the surface areas and heated by the solar energy. The hot water is then transferred to a tank to allow for more water to be moved to the surface and heated. There are also safety features installed on the heaters to prevent the water from overheating. This is crucial, especially during the summer months. The last thing anyone wants is a burning hot shower, never really in the mood for that.
There are a couple of types of solar water heaters on the market to choose from. Not brands, I’m talking about the way they work. There is “Active” solar water heaters come in three variations. There is direct, indirect, and the drain variation. The other type of solar hot water heater is the “Passive” heater. The passive water heaters are pump free and only rely on the natural wonders of gravity to circulate the water. The two variations of this heater are the “integral collector” and the “thermosyphon”.
Both the active and passive water heaters install fairly simple and will be just as easy to remove if you ever decided to switch back to an electric heater.
My Top 2 Reasons to Switch to Solar
- Save Some Money!
Aside from the jolly-good idea that we should all go green and protect this rock we live on, it’s also appealing to save a few bucks while doing it. Most people convert for the savings and not because of environmental consciousness.
- Go Green
Okay, this may not be enough to emotionally move anyone into actually taking action but it’s definitely a reason to with to solar.
Okay, so now for the good stuff. Which solar water heaters are the best on the market according to us, who just happen to know almost everything about almost anything, yeah, you read that right. Here is my list and it will not disappoint.
Top 5 Solar Water Heaters
- Pacific West Solar
These guys have manufactured what we would consider the best solar hot water heater on the market. The positive feedback online is a sign they are doing something right. We reached out to them about their product and found out that the guy that engineered it is also the guy that sells and installs it. No wonder there seems to be so much passion behind these water heaters. Imagine designing and engineering a solar product, then selling and installing it. Of course, you are going to be more passionate about it than some sales guy, and some installation technician. We picked one up for the man cave we work out of and I’m telling you guys, the water is warm and almost magical, well, maybe just warm.
- Rheem SolPak Electric
This has gotten rave reviews, and while I have never rinsed my hands with soap and hot water from one of these bad boys, I can tell you that the experience would most definitely be an epic one. I checked out reviews on Amazon and a few other places online that sell the product and it seems people are generally enthused about the product for the most part. I couldn’t find anything negative about the water tank, I looked to see if there were any recalls and everything I have read suggests it’s a well built solar product.
- Stiebel Eltron SBB Plus
This seems to be a pretty solid option; it has a larger tank with a dual heat exchange. It comes in sizes that range from 80-165 gallons with 150 PSI pressure across the board on all models. Pretty solid little option for anyone looking to get into an affordable water heater. For the most part, the functionality of the heater is the same regardless of the capacity which is nice not lose options just because you don’t need the maximum capacity.
- The Duda Solar Water Heater is Diesel
These little rock solid units are truly diesel. These are active units that heat the water through collection tubes and then store the water in a tank. These units are ideal to install in a central location to guarantee access to the hot water from anywhere in the house. These tanks also come in a variety of sizes, lots of gallons, and a lot more gallons pretty much. Trying not to bore you here with the tech talk, but one last thing, depending on the amount of warm water you need heated, the solar units come in 15 to 120 tube setups and everything in between.
- Cirrex Water Heater
This water heater is capable of doing everything it’s advertised to do. It heats water really well! This unit is capable of drawing on solar sources to generate most of the energy needed to heat the water. It comes in 80 and 120-gallon tanks, and the solar panels are either single panels or sold as three. It’s a decent unit that gets results for those looking for them.
If you are considering a switch to solar and are considering a solar hot water heater, I would definitely recommend the hot water heater from the guys at Pacific West Solar. The unit has functioned flawlessly for us and I couldn’t be happier about the support we have received when questions came up. They are responsive, knowledgeable, and you can tell that they generally care. Renewable energy is the way of the future, finding more energy efficient ways to heat your home will continue to be a focal point for homeowners for years to come.