Solar water heater construction can be a very satisfying job for the “do-it-yourselfer” who is looking to save money and energy.
You can choose from several different designs. However, you will need to spend some time researching costs and the best design for the climate in which you live.
Also keep in mind that if you want to qualify for certain tax credits, there are specific requirements that must be met in order to qualify. Solar water heater construction design for your climate is quite possibly the most important factor.
In southern California or Florida, even on the coldest winter night there is very little possibility of freezing. However, if you live in the desert, like in New Mexico, Nevada or Arizona, temperatures can be cold enough at night to form ice.
With the wrong design, this could lead to a burst pipe or worse and put your entire solar water heater in jeopardy.
Living in the northern United States, like I do, will require adding an electric or gas powered water heater for the winter months. Check with a licensed plumber to find out what options will be the best for you.
Regardless of where you live, you will likely need to have a backup water heater integrated into your system for cloudy days or times of increased demand. Some systems have very clear instructions detailing how to integrate a traditional tank water heater into your system or include one in the design. Other designs may require you to alter your solar water heater construction in order to accommodate a backup water heater.
Be sure to check the designer/manufacturer specifications of your particular system to make sure that you are safely integrating a traditional water heater or are not voiding the terms of your warranty.