Currently, only 1% of the homes in the United States use solar power to heat their water. These people enjoy lower energy bills and, at the same time, are helping the environment by avoiding polluting the environment resultant from use of traditional energy systems.
For an average family of four, about 30% of their energy expenses are for heating water. Whether the water is heated by natural gas or electricity, the heating of water for a household's use is expensive. With only a little initial investment, this same family of four can cut their energy expenses by about 25% by using solar heated hot water, only using traditionally heated water during periods that their solar system can not keep up. In many areas of the country where there is a lot of sunshine and mild weather, a solar water heating system can produce all the hot water a family needs.
In most cases, the expense of installing a solar water heating system will pay for itself in four to seven years. It is true that a solar water heating system is more expensive to install then simply putting in an electric or gas water heater, but when you consider the cost will be recouped rather quickly and then savings in energy bills will continue, it makes sense to install solar hot water for your home.
If you are having a new home built, you can specify in the contract that a solar hot water system will be installed. This way, you can roll the cost of the solar water heating system into the cost of the home and into the mortgage payments you make so that no up-front, out-of-pocket investment has to be made to add the solar system later. Even better, as more and more people become concerned about energy costs and environmental impacts, the fact that you home has a solar water heating system will increase the value of your home, building home equity or gaining more money for you if you later sell the home.
If solar hot water sounds like a great idea to you, there are some things you can do before installing the system to ensure that your home will have sufficient hot water to avoid using backup traditional water heating more than necessary. Begin by reducing the quantity of hot water needed. Install low-flow showerheads or flow restriction devices in all showers and facets, including the kitchen. Reduce heat loss from your water heater by insulating around it well and also insulate all hot water pipes that flow through areas of the home that are unheated. Lower your hot water heater's thermostat to about 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Not only will this help once you install your solar water heating system, but you will begin experiencing energy savings from the first day you make these improvement.
One misconception that prevents many people from considering solar water heating system is the idea that if you live in a cold climate you can't have solar heated hot water. This is completely false. In a cold climate provisions to prevent damage to your solar system by freezing temperatures will be included in the design and you can continue to have a traditional backup water heating supply in your electric or gas hot water heater. This backup water heating system will kick in only when weather conditions cause your solar water heating system to supply less than your family demands. If you want to check on the potential savings in your particular area, contact a local contractor that specializes in solar water heating systems to learn what the average savings, average number of days that traditional water heating is required, and other local facts.
About the Author: Anita van Wyk strives to make make more people aware of the benefits of using solar energy through her website https://facts-about-solar-energy.com/