DENVER WATER HEATERS: PASSIVE SOLAR WATER HEATERS

denver-thermosiphon-solar-water-heaterColorado is known for its sunny weather, and now is the best time to put that sunlight to good use. Energy costs fluctuate constantly, while sunlight will always remain free, making solar water heating an excellent economic choice.

There are two types of solar water heaters: active and passive. Both rely on the sun to heat the water in your home, but what distinguishes the two is how the water is moved toward the sunlight. Active systems rely on a pump to manually move the water to the roof or solar collector, whereas a passive system does not. In this article we will be discussing passive solar water heaters. All Solar water heaters have two basic parts. These parts include an insulated storage tank and a solar collector. A solar collector is the unit where the water is moved to and heated by the sun. Solar collectors come in several varieties; however they all absorb the energy from sunlight and transfer that energy to the water or another heating medium. After the water is heated, it must be stored until it is used. An insulated storage tank is most commonly used. This tank closely resembles a tank type water heater, and performs many of the same functions.

Passive solar water heaters are slightly less efficient than the average active solar water heater. However, what a passive solar heating system lacks in efficiency it makes up for it in reliability and long life. Passive heaters are typically less costly than an active system as well.

Passive solar water heaters come in two varieties: integral collector storage (ICS), and thermosiphon (sometimes spelled “thermosyphon”) systems.

Integral collector storage systems keep the water storage tank located below the solar collector. Cold water flows into the solar collector, where it is heated by the sun, then drawn down into the storage tank below. Integral collector systems work best in areas where the outside temperature rarely falls below freezing. They are also best suited for households with daytime and evening hot water use.

The second type of passive solar water heater is the thermosiphon type. In contrast to integral collector storage systems, thermosiphon systems keep the storage tank located above the solar collector. How does this type work? The answer is due to the fact that cold water sinks and hot water rises. When the water is heated, it will move upward, into the tank, while the cold water will leave the bottom of the tank where it is heated by the solar collector below. This method moves the hot water into the tank and the cold water out without using a pump.

With every solar water heater, a backup heater is needed for very cloudy days or days when a large amount of water is required. This is most commonly done by a tank type water heater, but could also be done with a more efficient tankless water heater.

Call 303-421-2161 to reach YOUR Denver Plumbing Company: Blue Sky Plumbing.

We service Applewood, Cherry Hills, Arvada, Golden, Evergreen and the entire Metro Denver area.

DENVER WATER HEATERS: ACTIVE SOLAR WATER HEATERS

denver-solar-water-heaters-installation-repair-replacementNo matter where you live there is at least one energy source that will always be free. It can’t be stored and no one can own it or supply it. That energy comes from the sun. So if it’s free, why not use it to heat your water? Solar water heaters do just that.

There are essentially two types of solar water heaters: passive and active. The difference between the two types is how liquid is circulated. An active system has circulating pumps and controls, while a passive system doesn’t. In this article, we will be discussing active solar water heaters.

Active solar water heaters also have different types. The two types are direct and indirect. The difference between the two is how water is heated. Both systems consist of a solar collector and an insulated storage tank. In a direct system, water is pumped up into the solar collector on the roof. The solar collector looks similar to a solar panel and is located on the roof of your home where the most sunlight is available. The solar collector is made of various material and come in a variety of setups, each one with its own unique abilities. When the water is moved into the solar collector, heat is transferred from the solar collector to the water. The water is then moved into an insulated storage tank inside the house, where it awaits use. Because the water travels outside the house during this process, his system is best suited for areas where the temperature doesn’t fall below freezing.

The second type of active system is an indirect system. Here, water is heated indirectly through a heat transfer fluid. This system resembles the direct system in every way aside from what liquid is being pumped. In lieu of water, a heat transfer fluid is sent through the solar collector and is then moved to the storage tank. However, instead of moving into the plumbing system, the fluid is run through pipes inside the tank, heating the water inside. This method allows for heat transfer to the water, without the water actually moving to the roof where it can become frozen during cold weather.

Most solar water heating systems require a backup conventional water heater. This allows for hot water at nighttime, on days which are not sunny, and on days where the hot water demand is greater than what the solar heating system can provide.

Due to the energy savings that they provide, solar water heaters usually pay for themselves within 4 to 8 years. After that, your solar water heater will produce nearly free hot water. Solar water heaters may also qualify for federal tax rebates as well as Colorado GEO rebates.

Call 303-421-2161 to reach YOUR Denver Plumbing Company: Blue Sky Plumbing.

We service Applewood, Cherry Hills, Arvada, Golden, Evergreen and the entire Metro Denver area.

WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS FOR DENVER WATER HEATERS?

shower-head-water-heatersIs it time to replace your water heater? Or perhaps you’re considering a more energy efficient water heater. A water heater is one of the most important appliances in a household and you’ll be amazed at the amount of money an efficient water heater can save you in energy costs. There are three main types of water heaters to choose from, each with their own unique benefits and abilities.

The first and most common is the tank type water heater. Also called storage water heaters, this type of water heater is available in both gas and electric fuel sources. In a tank water heater, cold water is moved into the tank and is then heated by the fuel source the tank uses. The hot water is then stored in the insulated tank, awaiting use. If the water is stored for an extended period of time, the water heater will re-activate and heat the water to the desired temperature. This method results in a constant supply of affordable hot water, which accounts for its popularity. Tank type water heaters have the advantage of consuming energy at a relatively low rate, and then storing it for later use.

The second, and increasingly popular, type of water heater is the tankless water heater. This type of water heater is approximately the size of a small cabinet, and can be installed virtually anywhere. This allows the unit to be installed closer to the point of use, therefore decreasing the wait time for hot water. As opposed to a tank type water heater which stores hot water as it awaits use, tankless water heaters activate only when needed, making them an energy efficient choice. This is because their unique design does not waste energy in continuously heating a large tank of water. This water heater type often qualifies for utility company rebates and/or state and federal tax credits.

The third and final type of water heater is the solar water heater. The primary benefit in using this type of system is that it uses a completely free energy source: the sun. In a solar heating system, heat is transferred from a solar collector either directly or indirectly to the water, causing it to become heated. The water is then stored in an insulated storage tank where it awaits use. When the sun is not shining, hot water is supplemented by a secondary conventional water heater. This creates a steady supply of hot water regardless of the weather. In a direct circulation system, the water flows directly through the solar collector. In an indirect circulation system, a non-freezing liquid is pumped through the solar collector, where the heat is transferred to the water. This prevents freezing on days of harsh weather. As the sun is a constant and free supply of energy, this type of water heater will protect you from fuel price changes and/or shortages, making this unit a wise investment. And with an average of 300 sunny days per year, Denver is one of the best locations in the country to install solar water heating. Solar water heating systems may also qualify for utility company rebates/and or federal tax credits.

Would you like to replace your current water heater with a more energy efficient unit? Studies have shown that replacing your current water heater with a more energy efficient unit can save you hundreds of dollars each year.

Call 303-421-2161 to reach YOUR Denver Plumbing Company: Blue Sky Plumbing.

We service Applewood, Cherry Hills, Arvada, Golden, Evergreen and the entire Metro Denver area.

DENVER WATER HEATERS: TANK HEATERS

shower-head-tank-heatersStorage water heaters, best known as tank heaters, are an excellent choice for both household and commercial use. They are by far the most popular water heating unit in America today, because of their unique features. Here are some of the many benefits of installing a tank type water heater.

The first, and most attractive benefit of storage water heaters, is their ability to keep a large amount of water heated constantly. A tank water heater may vary in size from about 20 gallons to as large as 100 gallons. What’s the reason for the size difference? The answer is quite simple. The size of the tank is directly related to the amount of water that is available in a given period of time.

What size water heater is best for you? The answer depends on a few different factors. The first factor to take into consideration is the number of bathrooms and water using appliances. The second is the size of the bathroom. Does your bathroom include a large tub and or shower? Often, a larger tank size is necessary to provide for the increased water use. Finally, the size needed will often depend on the fuel source. Electric water heaters heat water at a slower rate than gas heaters, so they require a larger tank to ensure a reliable supply of hot water.

The second advantage of storage water heaters is their ability to use energy at a relatively low rate. Unlike tankless water heaters which use a larger amount of energy in a shorter period of time, tank heaters heat the water gradually, and then store it for later use. While the water is being stored, the temperature is also being monitored by the thermostat. If the water is held in the tank for an extended period of time, the water is then re-heated to the correct temperature, ensuring the most reliable temperature control.

Finally, the tank type water heater is able to provide a more constant temperature over a longer period of time than a tankless heater. This benefit is most prominent in shower use, where a steady supply of hot water is vital to a luxurious shower. In a tank heater the hot water output is a constant temperature with no cold spots because the water is constantly monitored to maintain a continuous temperature.

Storage water heaters may qualify for an energy rebate. To see if you qualify, contact your energy provider.

Would you like to replace your current water heater with a larger or more energy-efficient unit? Studies have shown that replacing your current water heater with a more energy-efficient unit can save you hundreds of dollars each year.

Call 303-421-2161 to reach YOUR Denver Plumbing Company: Blue Sky Plumbing.

We service Applewood, Cherry Hills, Arvada, Golden, Evergreen and the entire Metro Denver area.

DENVER WATER HEATERS: TANKLESS WATER HEATERS

fire-tankless-water-heatersAre you tired of running out of hot water in your shower? Would you like to decrease the wait time for hot water in many of your appliances? If so, a tankless water heater is the choice for you.

The most obvious difference between a tank type water heater and a tankless water heater is that a tankless heater does not store heated water in a tank. Instead, a tankless water heater heats water only when it is needed. This results in a large energy savings because it does not waste energy heating water when it isn’t being used. Take a tea kettle for example. If you wanted to have hot water for tea at any time of the day, you could leave the tea kettle on the stove top all day, creating a steady hot water supply. Clearly, this method is reliable, yet not energy efficient.

However, what if there was another option? Suppose that there was a different type of tea kettle that heated water much faster than an average tea kettle. And suppose that whenever you wanted hot water, the kettle heated only the water that you needed, and it did it very quickly. That would use much less energy, and save you a lot of money. This is essentially what a tankless water heater does.

Another benefit is the ability to decrease wait time for hot water. Have you ever turned on the hot water faucet on you sink and waited for hot water to come? This is because your water heater is located far from your faucet. In some homes, the only place for the large tank heater is in the basement or the garage, far from the showers and appliances in the house. After you have used hot water, the water that was not used stays in the pipes where it cools down. Suppose after your initial use, you leave and come back to the same faucet. When you turn on the faucet again, the water will be cold, because it has cooled down, and it will continue to be cold until all the water that was sitting in your house’s pipes has been pushed out by the newly heated water from your tank type water heater. Because a tankless water heater is about the size of a suitcase, the water heater can be placed virtually anywhere, decreasing the distance the water has to travel.

So not only does a tankless water heater save you from paying high energy bills, it may also save water that would otherwise be wasted while waiting for cold water. Tankless water heaters may also qualify for a federal tax credit, Colorado GEO rebates, and utility company rebates.

Call 303-421-2161 to reach YOUR Denver Plumbing Company: Blue Sky Plumbing.

We service Applewood, Cherry Hills, Arvada, Golden, Evergreen and the entire Metro Denver area.