Updated: May 4
What is the best “Brand” of Solar Hot Water to buy?
Is the real question - what “Brand” can I trust?
Why is it the same “Brand” can have such mixed reviews with some customers raving about their system and the same “Brand” having upset customers wishing they never bought it?
The answer, although painful for some, is simple.
Solar Hot Water is a hot water system that uses the principles of absorbing heat from the Sun into panels and then transferring that heat to water.
Unless the Plumbers installing the system and the salespeople selling it understand the principles of how to use the Sun as a heat source, you rarely get great results.
In Brisbane, a correctly designed and installed Solar Hot Water system will produce relatively free hot water from October through to beginning of May each year. Even during Winter you can expect to pay approx. a third of your usual hot water bill.
For a family of 4, in power use compared to electricity or gas hot water you will save on average 3000+ Kilowatts each year.
If you have Solar Hot water in Brisbane and this is not the case, its simply not working properly.
When you buy a “Brand”, we are talking about the manufacturer of the system i.e., the quality of the materials used to build the system and how well they perform and last in theory.
Manufacturers sell their products to businesses that on-sell and usually install the systems to you.
Some of these businesses are franchisees, some are distributors of the products sold to you by tradespeople.
Many of these businesses that sell, supply and install use the cheapest plumbers and electricians they can find to install your system, which makes sense from some businesses point of view, i.e., to make as much profit as possible.
Often though, these tradespeople have no idea how Solar Hot Water works.
If they did know, they would not be so cheap.
If you want evidence of this, simply Google Map your area and look at how many Solar Hot Water systems of all different brands are installed in the shade or facing some aspect of South.
Surely it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the hottest Sun is North, and we need the heat to produce the hot water…
The closer you live to the equator, the hotter the Sun.
Also, I have come across many people that were told by salespeople of “trusted brands” that their systems were not working properly and needed replacing.
Upon inspection, I have reinstalled the system correctly for a fraction of the cost, resulting in more free hot water for the customer than they have ever experienced.
As for installations, the countless times I have replaced a “trusted” brand that has not been installed correctly and worn out (usually just after warranty), is phenomenal.
Solar Hot Water when first introduced in Australia back in the 1950-60’s, had to work and last.
Think about it. Back then you would spend $1000 to buy a new solar hot water system installed which was competing with $100 electrical systems like the old Saxon and cheap electricity.
No wonder the Systems lasted 25-45+ years
Bottom line, if the systems did not work, no one would have bought one or tell their neighbours who bought one. There would be no such thing as the Solar Hot Water industry today.
So, getting back to the original question of which is the best “Brand” to buy, look at the warranties.
The number of people in your home using the system and your hot water use will tell you what size system to buy.
Asking professional Solar Hot Water installers what results they have experienced is also valuable.
When it comes to who to buy the “brand” from, find someone who has the experience to know what sort of results you can expect, both financially, longevity and after sales support.
If they have the knowledge, experience and installers to produce predictable results every time they will know these answers.
If their answer is ambiguous, move on.
Of course, you call us at Sears Solar and we will give you the experience of dealing with a professional service that guarantees predictable results. This is the reason we started the company.
Thank you for your time and feel free to comment or contact us with your thoughts or questions.