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Things to Know About Solar Water Heaters

With global warming on the rise the need to switch to renewable energy sources is more than ever. It is also cost effective and instead of racking up on utility bills you just have to make a onetime investment.

If you didn’t already know Solar water heaters use energy from the sun and convert this into electrical energy for the heaters.

Let’s look into more details and look at the different types of solar water heaters.

Traditional Water Heaters vs Solar Water Heaters

Traditional water heaters are directly linked to the power grid and it makes up a considerable portion of your utility bills. Solar water heaters however use solar energy that is stored in energy collectors. So, when you use a solar water heater your reliance on the power grid reduce and so does your utility bills.

Solar heaters and solar panels are different. While solar panels generate electricity, you do not need to install pricey solar panels with solar water heaters. They can be linked to solar panels but it’s not necessary for them to function. They are mutually exclusive.

How do they work?

A normal solar water heater will have two main parts- a storage tank and solar collector. The other components such as pumps depend on whether the heater is an active or passive heater.

Active Heaters:

Active solar water heaters are further categorized into two types, Direct Circulation and Indirect circulation systems.

In an active system a circulation pump moves the water from the collectors into the house. These are ideal for area that don’t have sub zero temperatures. Indirect circulation pumps on the other hand have a heat transfer fluid that doesn’t freeze,and it circulates this between the collector and a heatexchanger. So, the heat exchange then heats the water and supplies it into the house. It is the best system for areas that experience sub zero temperatures.

No matter which installation you pick, solar hot water system installation always requires an experienced professional.

Passive Heaters:

These aren’t expensive when compared to Active Solar Water Heaters. They also have a longer lifetime and are generally more consistent that active heaters. However, the catch is that even though they are reliable and less expensive, the efficiency is relatively low when compared to their active counterparts.

Passive water heaters are also further classified into two types, ICS (Integral collector Storage) systems and Thermosyphon systems.

ICS system or Integral collector Storage Passive Systems are best suited for houses that require large volumes of water throughout the day. They too like direct circulation pumps are ideal for regions that rarely experience sub zero temperatures.

Thermosyphon passive systems are the more expensive than ICS but cheaper than active solar heaters. Installation is quite tricky with this one because the collector is situated below the storage tanks. This allows the warm water to rise and flow through while the cold one sinks to the bottom so that it can be heated.

These are 2 main categories of water heaters and which water heater will suit your household depends on the surrounding weather, volume of water required and other factors. Consult a professional plumber before deciding on which system to go with.

Garage Door Maintenance Tips for Homeowners

While the fundamental purpose of a garage is to keep the cars locked in, it is also a point of entry to your household. Therefore, maintaining the doors to your car-port in a regular and effective manner is of high importance. This guide looks into four such steps that you can follow, namely; inspection, service, cleaning and repair that will ensure the entrance to your garage works at its best for a long time.

Inspection and testing

Start by inspecting the structure for any signs of complications by operating it repeatedly and keep your ear out for any squeaky noises it may make. Observe the movement of the gate along the track as well. If it’s not smoothly rolling along the track and looks wobbly, then there is probably an issue. Such inspections must be carried out at least twice a year.

Next you should perform a few safety tests to see if the unit is functioning smoothly. Firstly, break the connection between the opener and the door, so that you can manually handle it. Try lifting it up halfway and releasing it. If it slides down freely without staying in place, then there is an imbalance. You should hire experts who offer sectional garage door maintenance in Sydney who will inspect it further and come up with solutions.

Service

Different components in the garaged door mechanism requires servicing every once in a while, and you can do the needful by yourself very easily. The door seals serve the primary purpose of protecting your vehicle and the inside of the room from external elements such as dust, water and snow. However, it also keeps vermin such as rats and snakes from slipping into the garage. You can raise the door and remove the worn-out U-shaped weather seal by loosening one end and pulling. Once removed, clean the surface of the gate and fix the new weather seal.

The chains and belts that are the working components behind the movement of the gate must be tightened and lubricated to just the right level to extract maximum efficiency.

Cleaning

Although this goes without saying, many homeowners overlook the importance of this step. A well washed and cleaned garage door will certainly look good, but it will also remain sturdy and functional for long time, instead of rotting internally and dying out way too soon. Wooden doors must be washed and dried with a piece of cloth. While cleaning, inspect the surface for any signs of insect damage or faded pant due to exposure to the sun. Holes can be patched with wood filler, sanded off and repainted to look seamless. Vinyl doors must be rinsed well with a hose and dried off with a microfiber cloth.

Repair

This job should almost always be delegated to the professionals, because a single wrong tweak from your hands might lead to a much more serious problem that will a lot harder to fix. Replacing the garage door battery or the light bulb are relatively simple and you will have no trouble performing on your own, however, more serious jobs like fixing a stuck wheel or adjusting the unit’s opening and closing speed must be done with professional assistance. Therefore, do not hesitate to call your go-to handyman or repairman for the task.