Solar Water Heating: Let the Phoenix Sun Do the JobEvery home needs hot water. Running showers, laundry machines and dishwashers on a daily basis uses up to a lot of heated water in your Phoenix area home. Installing a solar water heating system can reduce your monthly energy bill while keeping your water at a comfortable temperature.

Selecting the Right Solar Water Heater

Positioning, sizing and local building codes should all be taken into account when you place your solar collectors.

Site Evaluation: Properly positioning your solar water heater collectors to take full advantage of sunlight exposure is to key getting the best energy efficiency from your unit. Both the tilt and orientation of the collector will affect the performance of your solar water heater. Collectors should be located in an area that allows maximum sunlight exposure throughout the day. The tilt angle of your collector should match the latitude of where you live for best results. However, matching the angle of your roof, or installing the collector directly on your roof, will not drastically change the efficiency of the unit.

Sizing: Some simple calculations are required to determine the proper sized water heater for your home. Start out by listing the number of devices that use hot water that will run in your home simultaneously. Add the flow rates of each device to determine the overall flow rate your water heater will need to supply. You’ll also want to calculate your temperature rise by subtracting incoming water temperatures from desired output temperatures, generally set at 120 degrees F. If you don’t know the incoming water temperature, the best practice is to assume it’s 50 degrees F.

Building Code: Most building codes and zoning restrictions are locally governed at the city, township or county level. Special restrictions may apply if you live in subdivisions, condo or townhouse communities with homeowners association covenants and requirements.

Possible building codes issues:

  • Unlawful tampering with public water supplies
  • Unacceptable heat exchangers
  • Exceeding roof load
  • Improper wiring

Potential zoning issues:

  • Erecting unlawful protrusions on roofs
  • Positioning systems too close to lot boundaries or streets
  • Obstructing sideyards

Please contact us at Wolff Mechanical for professional installation of your solar water heating system.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Phoenix Valley area of Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

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