Frequently Asked Questions

Solar Water Heaters

Solar Air Heaters

Solar Water Heater Questions:

Q: Does a solar water heating system work most efficently in the summer, and less so during the winter?

Sunfire Solar Water Heaters work just as well during the summertime as during the wintertime. There is a common misconception that solar energy based products are not reliable because they depend too heavily upon the availablity of direct sunlight. In fact, the performance of Sunfire Solar Water Heaters are unaffected by the seasons because the technology of our product centers on turning solar radiation into heat. Since solar radiation exists on a cloudy day just as much as on a sunny day, our customers can depend upon having hot water in the wintertime. Sunfire solar water heaters provides hot water in -30°C conditions.

Q: Since there are fewer hours of daylight in the winter, does that mean solar water heaters generate less heat during this season?

Sunfire engineers have improved the inner absorbance coating of our evacuated tubes. Our market leading technology allows us to greatly enhance our solar collector's absorbance efficiency due to its superior solar infrared ray collection abilities. Sunfire's patented technology allows us to meet the hot water needs of a household or small business even in the wintertime.

Q: Is it neccessary to remove our current heater or change our habits to accomidate a solar water heater?

No. Sunfire solar water heaters are connected directly to your current water heater during the installation process overseen by Sunfire professionals with years of experience in the solar water heating industry. Here is a brief overview of how it works: traditional water heaters heat water with gas or electricity. When they receive water at 40°F they use gas or electricity to heat the water to 120-140°F, when they receive water at 80°F they again use gas or electricity to heat the water to 120-140°F. When they receive water at 160-203°F, though, your traditional water heaters will not have to do anything! Which means no gas or electricity costs. During the Sunfire streamlined installation process, we will take the water that would have gone straight to your water heater and route it through Sunfire solar water heaters, which will increase the temperature of the water that goes into your traditional water heater to the point where you will hardly ever need to use gas or electricity to heat the water since it's so hot already.

Q: How much will we save?

The amount you can save will depend on the amount of hot water you typically use, as well as the water tank size, and the price of the fuel used for backup heating. Using a solar water heater can easily save over 85% of your monthly hot water bill. For a typical family of four, the water is usually kept at 122°F and about 80 gallons are used per day - this comes to a savings of around $650 per year!

For restaurants and motels, which consume far more hot water, the savings are equally greater.

Q: Does a solar water heater affect the quality of our water?

There is absolutely no danger of a change in water quality. Sunfire heats water without ever coming in to direct contact with the water supply, which means your water quality will be exactly what it was before you used Sunfire solar water heating.

Q: Will a solar water heater provide enough hot water for an entire house?

Sunfire is suitable for nearly all properties. We are glad to discuss the number of units you may require and where they would be placed on your property. All that needs to be done is for a technician speak with you about your water needs, and to select the best location on your property.

Q: Are there any safety concerns that arise when using a solar water heating system?

You should not worry about high winds, hail, or freezing as Sunfire's solar water heaters have been designed to withstand these hazards, and our solar water heaters need no electricity so there are no electrical concerns involved.

Q: How long does it take before a solar water heater can begin providing hot water?

Sunfire uses intervene film technology, which means that three to five hours of sunlight can heat water to between 122°F and 203°F.

Q: How long will water remain hot with a solar water heater?

Due to advanced insulation technology, water heated by Sunfire can remain hot for up to 80 hours after being exposed to sunlight - So you never need to worry about running out of hot water!

Q: How reliable is a solar water heater?

Our water heaters are designed to work efficiently under many situations, including different amounts of direct sunlight. They are also designed to last for at least twenty years, and they also come with a three year limited warranty.

Q: How much does a solar water heater cost?

Installation costs and tax incentives vary by location of the unit, state, and county. Please contact your local Sunfire distributer to schedule a free on site estimate. You can find our contact information on our Contact Us page

Solar Air Heater Questions:

Q: Does a solar air heating system have a large impact on the interior of my home?

In fact, installing a solar air heating system to provide your home with warm air will hardly impact the interior of your home. Upon installation there will be a small vent in which the warmed air is pushed into your house, as well as a thermostat so that you can control the temperature of the air in your house. Please see the indicated areas in the below picture to see what it would look like:

Q: Does the Solar air heater provide heating for my entire residence?

Yes, one Solar air heater provides supplementary heating for a room up to 1500 square feet (in a well-insulated house, in northern US, or southern Canadian climates).

Q: How does the solar air heater work? What does it do?

It's an air heater that mounts on the outside of a south facing wall or roof. The sun heats up a solar air heater air collector like the sun warms your car on a sunny day. Imagine capturing that hot air and dumping it into your home during the fall, winter, and spring heating season. The Solar air heater uses a self-powered fan, which is built into it with a solar electric panel. (See the How it Works diagrams on product's page).

Q: Does the Solar air heater have storage capability for nighttime use?

No, the solar air heat only works during the sunny day time hours.

Q: Aren't liquid solar collectors better?

They are about 10-20% more efficient, but liquid solar thermal collector (flat plate, evacuated, etc.) systems are much more expensive. A Solar air heater is an excellent low cost alternative and can be installed by a handy homeowner. No leaks, no worrying about glycol ratios, anti-freeze pH balance, rust inhibitors, stagnation damage to antifreeze, power outages, overheating solar storage tanks during vacation time, or steam filled basements, heat exchanger or collector calcification (non-anti-freeze systems). Check out our solar air heater. It just doesn't get any simpler, more reliable or less expensive with any other solar heating system.

Q: Are there government subsidies available?

Yes there are. Please visit the financing section for more details.

Q: Does the solar air heater last a long time?

Yes, the solar air heater is built to last approximately 20 years.

Q: Does the solar air heater have a warranty?

Yes, the solar air heater comes with a five years warranty on the collector and one year on electronics.

Q: Can I add more solar air heater collectors to heat a larger area?

Yes, the solar air heater is modular, so more collectors can be added later on to heat other rooms.