Posted on July 29th, 2010 by Paulina Aguilera
Nothing beats the fresh start that moving into a new home brings you. Now you can use the clean slate of your relocation to maximize energy efficiency in the home you’re moving to with a solar water heater.
The average American family of four uses as much as 72 gallons of hot water a day, with 10-15% of monthly energy bill costs coming directly from the output of residential water heaters. Installing a solar water heater at your new place can cut your energy bill by almost $500 a year!
So how does a solar water heater actually work? Without getting too technical, the basic concept of heating water with the sun’s energy was first used by wily humans who crafted large barrels and painted the top black to better absorb solar heat. Nowadays, solar water heaters have a few added technological flairs, like the addition of temperature gauges, storage containers, and pumps.
There are two different systems you need to consider when choosing a solar water heater for your new home: active systems and passive systems.
Active systems require the use of electricity, which almost defeats the purpose of getting a solar water heater in the first place. But, you can offset the electrical needs of an active system with a solar powered pump – so if you’re in the market, make sure to inquire about one. Active systems are what you need to go with if you live in colder areas, like New England or the Upper Midwest regions.
If you live in warmer climates, like Texas, California, or Florida, then you should definitely look into a passive solar water heater. The energy used on a passive system is virtually eliminated, because the hot water is carried naturally to the storage tank via convection, without the help from a pump!
Installing a solar water heater can set you back about $2,500 to $3,500 on the initial costs. Passive systems, that don’t require the additional instruments of active heaters, can go for as low as $1,000. If want to truly be green, and save some green while you’re at it, embrace your inner do-it-yourselfer and construct your own solar water heater!
Remember to get a few estimates from plumbers for the installation, and check with your city to make sure you follow housing codes when installing your heater.
Installing a solar water heater in your home is a wonderful way to experience sustainable energy firsthand. The benefits are many:
- Experience a complete return of your investment in as little as 4 years
- Lower your carbon footprint while teaching your children about greener living
- Get up to 30% of the cost of your water heater back with federal tax incentives
- Reduce your overall electric and gas use for maximum savings on your monthly energy bill
If you want to save more money, be sure to include a plan to swap out the conventional water heater in your new house with a solar one, and start a greener lifestyle after your relocation!
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This entry was posted on Thursday, July 29th, 2010 at 10:13 am and is filed under Learning Center. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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