When upgrading your water heater, you now have a few options to choose from in addition to the traditional systems. Tankless water heaters promise to reduce the overall cost of having hot water by producing hot water only when you need it. Solar water heaters use the power of sunlight to heat water for you, reducing the need for electricity or gas power even further. For many homes, a solar water heater simply is the best way to maximize your home's potential.
You Can Still Have Plenty Of Hot Water
Solar water heaters work by capturing the heat from sunlight and using it to get water nice and hot. You've experienced this any time you have moved into to the shade to get cool. Just like a traditional water heater, these systems use a tank to store the hot water. Throughout the day, the water gets circulated beneath the panels so that it can maintain a consistently high temperature.
But what happens at night or when it's been raining for three days straight? There isn't any sunlight to produce hot water or keep previously warmed water hot enough. There are some people who modify their lifestyle to work around this limitation, making themselves completely independent of traditional energy sources for their hot water. However, this is not a requirement for using one of these systems. Most models will come with a secondary heat source that is powered by either gas or electricity. This kicks in when the water in the tank isn't staying warm enough to ensure that you are still able to get plenty of hot water when the sun isn't shining.
It's An Elegant Solution to Reducing Your Environmental Impact
Solar power is one of the few ways that you as a homeowner can access sustainable energy sources directly. Wind turbines are only really efficient in certain areas, and must be quite large to be cost effective. Geothermal and hydro systems require you to live in very specific locations, and it is unlikely you are going to want to move just to use these energy sources. In contrast, just about anyone can install solar panels on their roof and start benefiting from them. Increases in panel efficiency make them cost effective even if you don't live in an ideal location that gets the maximum amount of sunlight.
While solar power seems to get all the press, it is actually quite a bit more expensive to get started with solar power than a solar water heater. A solar water heater is a direct conversion from sunlight into heat, whereas a solar electrical system has to convert that energy into electricity. In addition, your home runs on alternating current, whereas solar electricity creates direct current. In order to use solar power in your home, you have to purchase an inverter, which converts DC into AC power, and this one piece adds thousands of dollars onto the cost of a solar power system.
It Will Save You Money in The Long Run
Sunlight is a free and infinite resource, so once you have this system installed, your energy bills will drop dramatically. You can use online calculators to find out approximately how much of your monthly bill is coming from your water heater. Calculating how much hot water your new solar heater will produce without any additional energy input is tricky, but a professional can help you with the calculations. Once you have figured how much you will save monthly, you can determine how long it will take to pay off the extra cost of going with a solar system. Of course, once you have the new system, you can figure this out easily by looking at the actual difference in your new and old bills.
Installing a solar water heater is a great way to reduce your environmental impact and lower your energy bills. With very few downsides, it is tough to justify going with a traditional system if you live in an area with plenty of sunshine to help you heat your water. Contact a company like Wright Total Indoor Comfort for more information.