Rheem has been an Australian household name in hot water systems for many years. They produced their first water heater in 1939 and fast became the gold standard in the industry. What many people don’t know is that Rheem have also been at the forefront of solar and other renewable energy water heating for over 25 years. The following are the current models available from Rheem and we find out if they manage to meet our high standards.
Roof Mounted Solar Hot Water Heater
There are four roof mounted solar hot water systems in the current range. The roof mounted direct and indirect steel solar water heaters are the traditional design that has been popular in Australia for decades. The main difference between the two models is the way the water is heated. The indirect water heater uses a system of anti-freeze fluid and a heat exchange system to heat the water, and in the direct system water passes through the collector and is directly heated. This means that the indirect system is suitable for cooler climates that are prone to frost. Both of these models are available in a number of colours to suit any house design.
The other two roof mounted models (the Hiline and Premiere Hiline) combine the traditional system with an in roof water tank, which is designed to free up space at the ground level (where the traditional solar water heater tank is installed). The two models are similar, but the Premier model is suitable for cooler climates and frost prone areas.
There are two types of solar collectors that are currently used by Rheem. The Australis collector and the Titan. The Australis is constructed of copper and aluminium and is the most popular choice. The Titan has been designed for high performance and uses advanced titanium coated copper. This makes it one of the most efficient solar hot water systems available.
|System||Installation||Cool climate/frost compatible||Warranty|
|Hiline Premiere||Outdoor||Yes||6 Years|
|Roof Mounted Direct||Outdoor||No||7-10 Years|
|Roof Mounted Indirect||Outdoor||Yes||7-10 Years|
Ground Mounted Combined/Split Systems
These systems are very similar to the traditional solar hot water heaters, but they are specifically designed with a slim profile in mind. This reduces the structural load on the roof, which means that they are suitable for some non standard installations. They also have a low profile, which means that they provide a better visual impact on the roof (they can even be hidden in some cases). As with the other models, there are two options available; the Rheem Premier Loline and the standard Loline. The Premier Loline is designed to work in all climates, including frost prone areas.
|Loline Premiere||Indoor/Outdoor||Yes||5 Years|
Rheem also offers a number of alternative options for water heating including gas, split system heat pumps and energy efficient electric models. In the event that a solar system is not suitable for your property, then these models provide a low energy and environmentally friendly option. There are times when a solar hot water system is not available, such as if your roof space is unsuitable for install or if your property is surrounded by shade (other properties, trees etc). As with all solar hot water systems, the Rheem models feature electric or gas boost for times when a little extra heating is required.
Price, including installation, for a solar hot water heater depends on the model that you are installing and the difficulty/complexity of the install. A standard model combined with a standard install averages about $3000-$4000 before rebates. You can expect to pay anywhere from $2000 through to $10000. A replacement is likely to be cheaper because the existing pipework may cut installation costs/tine. The only way you can get an accurate figure for your home is to arrange a free quote. It is a good idea to ensure you obtain as many quotes as possible to ensure you get the best price. It is also important to consider that you may be eligible for government incentives for installing a solar hot water system. To confirm your eligibility you should speak with the manufacturer and/or installer before signing a contract or purchasing a new unit.
Rheem remains one of the most trusted brands in hot water systems and their products are generally known for high quality and extended warranties (the shortest warranty on the solar products is 5 years). The solar systems have had some teething problems over the years, but most customers report that they are satisfied with the service they have received from the company when a warranty claim is required. The solar water heaters are a great way to reduce your power bill as well as reducing your impact on the environment. If you are considering installing a solar hot water system in your new home, or are replacing an old system, then the Rheem range of solar products should definitely be a part of your considerations.