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Are your sky-high electricity bills giving you the shivers? You're not alone. They've become a big problem for many Brisbane homeowners, and one of the major contributors is water heating.

The good news is there is a solution.

A solar hot water system not only tackles these mounting costs but also promotes energy efficiency. How do they work? Let’s explore how these systems could be your ticket to lower energy bills.

What's the science of solar hot water?

Solar hot water systems harness energy from the sun to heat water. These systems typically consist of solar collectors and storage tanks. The collectors capture sunlight and convert it into heat. This heat is then transferred to the water stored in the tank. It's a smart way to use sunlight to heat your home's water supply, saving energy and money.

There are two main types of solar water heaters: active and passive. Active systems use pumps and controls to circulate water, while passive systems use natural convection to move water. Both systems can reduce your reliance on conventional water heating methods which in turn leads to substantial energy savings.

They're ideal for Brisbane

Brisbane's weather is the perfect partner for solar hot water systems. The city gets an average of 283 days of sunshine per year, meaning plenty of solar energy to power your hot water system. Also, the government offers a range of incentives and rebates for homeowners who switch to solar hot water systems which can make the initial investment more affordable.

Are the savings worth it?

The short answer is yes. On average, if you install a solar water heater, your water heating bills should drop 50%–80%. This means you could potentially save around $140 annually or $2,900 over 20 years on your water heating costs. Once you reach the end of your solar payback period, you'll be generating hot water practically for free.

Making the change

Switching to a solar hot water system requires some planning. You'll need to consider the size of your home, the number of people living there, and your typical water usage. It's also essential to think about the orientation and inclination of your roof for optimal sunlight capture.

Getting professional advice from a Brisbane plumber is a wise decision. They can help you pick the perfect system to save energy and ensure you have hot water whenever you need it.

Choosing a solar hot water system

Not all solar hot water systems are the same. There are two main types of collectors:

  1. Evacuated Tube Systems employ glass tubes to capture solar energy and are well suited to colder climates and frost-prone areas.
  2. Flat Panel Collector Systems use flat panels to absorb sunlight and are a popular choice across different climates.

There are also two main storage tank options.

  1. Split System - the collector is on the roof and the storage tank is on the ground, using a pump to recirculate water, making it suitable for situations where the roof cannot support a water tank.
  2. Thermosiphon - both the collector and the storage tank are installed on the roof. This is ideal when ground space is limited but it does require a strong roof to bear the weight.

In the end

Solar hot water systems are more than just about cost savings—they're also a win for the environment. By harnessing the sun's energy, you're slashing reliance on fossil fuels. That translates to fewer greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to cleaner air and a healthier environment for future generations. Every drop of hot water you use from these systems is a step towards a sustainable future. It's a small change with a massive positive ripple effect.

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