Heating your home’s water supply with solar energy is not only one of the best ways to help your home go green, but it can also save you hundreds of dollars a year. If you’re looking for a way to help your money stretch during any given month, and also protect your local environment, then a solar water heater may be the answer for you. In fact, research and estimates by large companies have shown that those who switch can save upwards of $500 in the first year of installing and using a solar system. You are almost guaranteed a return on your investment within the first few years of installing the system, making a solar water heater good for the environment and your overall budget.
Choosing the Right Water Heater for Your Home
When it comes to choosing the right heater for your home, there are several factors you have to look at before choosing. Environmental, home, and family factors will play a huge part in what type of system your family should invest in. Here are some things to consider when shopping around.
What many people don’t understand is that solar power does not have to be very expensive, especially with such a fast investment return. Although installation can be upwards of a few hundred dollars, the return of your investment I quick and in the long run, you will save much more than if you stayed with a traditional system.
Where You Live
Do you get a lot of suns or do you live somewhere that is often overcast? Do you experience a lot of rainfall? Do you live in a desert area? Solar water heaters need to absorb a certain amount of sun during the day in order to function and heat the water, and where you live will impact what model you can install because of this. Also, if you live in an area where you could be subject to freezing, you will need to take extra precautions to protect your water heater unit.
Amount of Water You Are Trying To Heat
Your lifestyle and the size of your family are a huge impact on how big your unit’s collector is going to have to be. If you are a large family that uses more than a few gallons of hot water in a day, you will need a fairly large system with a large collector to satisfy your needs. However, if there are only one or two people in your home and water consumption is relatively low, a smaller unit may be the best option for you. The size of your unit is going to depend on how much hot water you use in a day.
To quickly determine this, multiply the number of people in your family by 18 (number of gallons a typical person uses of hot water in a day). Take this number with your shopping, and associates will be able to help point out a unit that is going to fit your needs and a tank that will supply your home with all the hot water it will need.
How Green Do You Want To Be?
It is true that going green happens in phases and even when it comes to solar water heaters, you don’t have to go 100% green all at once. To go green you would not only have a solar water heater but you would live to alter your lifestyle in order to conserve that hot water. Although some people do live this way, just getting a solar water heater can be a huge help to the environment because it is cutting down your consumption of carbon-based fuels. If you don’t want to “go green” completely or even want to ease yourself into a greener lifestyle, a small solar water heater is more than likely the answer for you.
Passive or Active?
One of the most asked questions by those wanting to go green and install a solar water heater is if they should choose a passive or active heater. Both are great options, but each fits a different type of lifestyle. A passive system uses the fact that hot water rises to its advantage, and allows hot water to rise to the top of the tank so that it is used first, while the cold water is warmed at the bottom of the tank. An active system uses a pump to circulate the hot water through the system. In the end, an active system is going to use more equipment, but it is also going to give you hot water on a constant basis. A passive system is going to be an easy and more affordable install, but you may not be able to have all the hot water you need when you need it. For this reason, those who use more hot water may want to go with an active system and those that use less may want to go for a passive system. It all depends on your lifestyle, and while you are shopping an associate will be more able to confirm if your assessment of your life and what type of system you need is correct.
Want to go green and stretch your monthly water heating budget? A solar water heater may be the thing you need. Remember, before you buy always know what questions to ask and know what type of system is going to accommodate your lifestyle the best.