Understanding how a solar water heater works for your hot water needs at home, while playing a part to help the planet.
Subscribe to our Telegram channel for the latest stories and updates.
With sustainable energy gaining traction in Malaysia, more people have started to convert their home energy usage partially or fully to renewable energy. One of the most popular sustainable energies that Malaysians are starting to embrace is solar energy, as it is the most accessible renewable energy thanks to the tropical weather that we have.
The most common application of solar energy in residential usage is solar water heater, an alternative power source for home water heating systems. In addition to its increased accessibility, solar water heaters bring plenty of advantages to homeowners such as the reduction of electricity bills and environmental-friendly outcomes in the long run, while maintaining efficiency of traditional water heaters!
It is the go-to for homeowners who are keen to adopt sustainable energy solutions before investing in wider application(s) for their living space.
“Even though there is an increasing need for solar water heaters in households as an alternative power source, we noticed that many are still hesitant to install one at home due to misconception towards it. On the contrary, with technology advancements these days, homeowners can choose from a wide array of options according to their needs and house conditions to make the full use of it,” according to Mr Mok Gim Kaw, Senior Product Advisor of SolarMate, Malaysia’s first-certified and leading solar thermal manufacturer who works hand in hand with Waterco Malaysia to provide comprehensive water filtration and heating solutions to customers.
If you have any doubts and questions on the installation and usage of solar water heaters, here are some myth busters for you!
Myth #1 Solar water heater only works on sunny days?
First, let us understand how a solar water heater works. Solar water heater uses energy from sun rays to heat cold water and transfer the heated water into a storage tank, ready for use. After the inspection of your roof conditions and determining the size of the water tank, a heating device with solar panels on the surface will be installed on your roof.
As it uses solar radiation to heat the water, it can still function on cloudy days as the weather does not completely block out sun rays. Although the maximum output of a solar water heater may decrease during overcast days, some solar water heaters are paired with a back-up heating system to bring pre-heated water to the required temperature. We can also pair it with an electric back-up to boost the operation of the solar water heater when needed to ensure constant hot water supply during undesirable weather.
Myth #2 The bigger the installation, the better
No, this is not the case! Solar water heaters are selected and installed based on few considerations in order to maximise the cost efficiency of it.
Few things which need to be considered before installing a solar water heater at home include the number of people living within the space, hot water storage capacity, roof structure and many other factors for you to choose a product that suits your needs.
Based on the number of family members, you can choose a solar water heater with either a small or large tank capacity that is able to supply sufficient amount of hot water for everyone.
It is pointless to install more than what is needed as you may need to fork out money for unnecessary maintenance and installation. So remember to evaluate what is needed and spend only for that!
Myth #3 Solar water heater requires too much maintenance
High maintenance fees are one of the main concerns of homeowners when it comes to installing solar water heaters.
In truth, only minimal maintenance is required if it is installed properly and service regularly by a reliable supplier.
It is advised to schedule for product servicing and checking every 4 to 5 years to ensure your solar water heater is in its optimal functionality.
Solar water heaters are designed for durability and usually can last for 15 to 20 years. While there may be minimal maintenance along the way, it can still achieve maximum functionality and reduce electricity costs in the long run if it is properly maintained.
Myth #4 Solar water heater only makes small contribution in reducing electricity bill
You can save at least 20 to 30 percent of your monthly electricity bill by switching to a solar water heater from a traditional electric water heater! Although the installation of solar heaters is more costly than traditional heaters, it utilises sunlight (which is free of charge!) to function and you can see the reduction of electricity costs in the long run.
“A solar water heater can definitely help to reduce energy consumption for your home. However, there are some factors that will determine the amount of bills that you can save from switching to solar heating systems. Some of the determinants such as the amount of hot water being used and the performance of the system are things that need to be considered before installation. Hence, please consult reliable suppliers to choose the right solar water heater and maintain its efficiency throughout your usage,” explained Mr Mok.
Feeling more confident to install a solar water heater for your home? Make sure to reach out to professional suppliers to understand the pros and cons before installing one!