Solar Hot Water Heaters

The benefits of solar hot water systems

Drawing on the limitless energy resources provided by the sun, solar heating systems hold great promise for both the present and the future. While solar power has many applications in residential settings, including space heating and pool heating, solar hot water heaters rank as one of its most common usages.

Solar hot water systems can be used both to raise and to lower the temperature of water, and they can sharply reduce your reliance on conventional, energy-hogging water heaters. Given that up to a quarter of your home's entire energy usage is consumed by your water heater and that solar water heating can relieve you of 50 to 60 percent of that burden, it's easy to see that the numbers add up. To add to their cost-effectiveness, solar rebates or tax credits may be available from your government to reward you for choosing a greener, more sustainable form of energy.

How Solar Hot Water Systems Work

These setups require the implementation of solar panels with a pipe network connected to them. Your solar water heating panels must be installed atop your roof; it is not viable to install them on the ground, as is possible with other solar heating applications. Ideally, they should be placed on the portion of your room that faces south, as this optimizes the system's energy capture capabilities.

When you run your hot water, the system draws on energy collected by your solar water heating panels to heat the fluid running through the connected pipes. Alternatively, you can use a specially formulated heat transfer fluid in the pipe network connected to the solar panels, which will then be delivered to a solar hot water tank. This setup is more akin to a conventional propane or electric water heater.

The cost of a solar hot water system varies. Currently, you should expect to pay between $1,500 and about $3,000 to install one. While this is more money than you would pay for a conventional hot water heater, consider that these systems have the potential to save you as much at 75 percent on your monthly energy bill, depending on how much hot water you use.

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