Solar-powered hot water systems are an excellent way to reduce your carbon footprint.
They also provide a free source of energy for your home, so you can save on utility bills.
But if you want them to last as long as possible, there are some tips that can help extend their life.
Here are some things to do if you want your solar system to last longer…
Clean the panels regularly with soap and water
In order to heat up water, a solar-powered hot water system will collect the sun’s rays, but this also means that it collects dust and debris.
If you don’t clean your panels regularly, they will lose their ability to absorb energy from the sun.
“Cleaning them with soap and water ensures that you are only removing the dirt without damaging them.”
Be careful when using harsh chemicals: There are many cleaning products out there for solar systems, but make sure to choose ones that won’t damage your system.
Bleach has been known to reduce efficiency by as much as 50%!
Also, avoid cleaners with ammonia or strong acids because they can erode metal parts over time.
Make sure they’re not in direct sunlight or shade all day
If you have your panels in direct sunlight, they will heat up and not perform as well.
If you put them in the shade, they won’t be able to absorb energy from the sun either.
Your solar panel installation expert should have calculated the optimum position for your solar panels to ensure this isn’t an issue.
Reduce sediment build up in the tank
Sediment has the same effect on water heaters that it does on faucets. It can reduce pressure and cause leaks.
If you see any signs of cracks, you should replace the part immediately.
Choosing a Location for Installing your Solar System
If you want to reduce costs and extend the life of your solar-powered hot water system, then choosing an ideal location is key.
Check for leaks around pipes and fittings
Leaks can occur anytime, but they are especially common during the winter. Check your system regularly to make sure you don’t have any problems. Also, be careful if you use a hose to clean off your panels because a sudden change in water pressure could cause a leak later on down the line.
Insulate pipes to keep solar radiation from heating up the system
Solar energy heats up the water during the day, so you should not let it sit in your system overnight.
If you live in a cold climate, insulate your system to keep the solar heating elements from warming up the entire tank of hot water.
Check for loose tiles or panels
Over time, there is always some natural wear and tear on your roof that can lead to cracks or holes.
Check for any signs of damage or leaks again after winter has passed because that’s usually when things start to show their age.
Be cautious with high-powered cleaners
High-powered cleaners are great for cleaning stains off your panels but make sure never to aim them at certain parts of the system where they could be damaging (like the bottom of the tank).
How Long Will My Solar Hot Water System Last?
A properly working solar water heater should last you a decade or longer.
But if your system is already older than that, there’s no guarantee that it will work as well as it used to.
In fact, servicing costs might go up over time since you’ll probably have to replace some of its components sooner or later.
So if you want your solar-powered hot water heater to last for a long time, then regular maintenance is necessary even before problems start popping up here and there.
And while having a professional look at your system every year might sound like a hassle, it’s just as important for your system to function properly.