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On-Demand Backup Heating

While solar heaters are economical, the downside is that they do not always collect enough heat energy in a given day to supply an entire household with warm water. The solution is to install a solar tankless water heater as a backup heating device in order to ensure that you always have enough hot water year-around.
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Tankless Water HeaterImage: Mattes via Wikimedia CommonsWhile tank-style water heaters have the virtue of providing a lot of hot water that can be used at once, tankless water heaters are more energy-efficient and can provide supplemental services with little electric waste. The main solar heating system will provide sufficient hot water on warm, sunny days. A solar tankless water heater can then provide most of the hot water on cloudless days and will also assist the solar heater on sunny but cool days. A homeowner who installs these two hot water heaters in tandem needs to make sure to set both thermostats properly so as to avoid the overheating of water by the solar tankless water heater.

A solar tankless water heater can, in conjunction with a solar heater, greatly reduce the cost of water heating. While a conventional heater keeps a heated standing tank of water that is constantly bleeding energy, a solar tankless water heater will only heat water when necessary. If a homeowner lives in a warm, sunny climate, he or she could potentially reduce the water heating bill to zero when using solar energy and a solar tankless water heater. Living in a cooler, cloudier environment is not prohibitive to lowering heating costs; using solar energy coupled with a solar tankless water heater can still result in a 75% reduction in water heating costs.

Homeowners who wish to purchase a water-heating tandem of a solar heater and a solar tankless water heater may want to consult a solar professional to ensure that the tankless water heater is compatible with the solar water heater. Once these two units are installed and are working together, homeowners will be pleasantly surprised at the benefits--economically as well as environmentally.

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Written by: Christian Märtel, Editor
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