The Benefits of Solar Water Heater

solar water heater

Did you know that about 18% of domestic energy use can be traced back to heating water?  That is how much you are spending to get the comfort of having heated water running through your home plumbing system.  Regardless whether you are using gas or electricity, the amount you are spending can still be substantial.  So what can you do to limit your spending on heating water?

Solar Water Heating

Where can you find an efficient source of heat that is virtually free?  What about the sun?  With the use of solar thermal collectors, the energy of the sun can be harnessed and used regardless of the climate to heat water.  In fact, the energy can be used for both the heating and cooling systems in your home.

Taking advantage of the heating power of the sun using mirrors and lenses can help you achieve temperatures that can go as high as 3,000 degrees.  This means that creating hot water would not be as costly.  The water that has been heated by the sun can be stored in well-insulated tanks to ensure that you can use it for a long time.  The result is that you get the same level of comfort for a fraction of the cost.

Benefits of Solar Heating

The success of using solar thermal panels to heat water also depends on the use of an immersion heater or a back-up boiler that can heat the water to your desired temperature.  At first this can seem like an additional cost, but, if you weigh it against the benefits you get.  What are the benefits if you invest in solar heating?

  • Access to free and abundant energy regardless of the weather;
  • Minimal space is required for the installation of solar thermal panels. In an average home only about 2 to 3 panels measuring 2 meters by 1 meter is requires to heat water;
  • Efficient heating with as much as 80% of the radiation converted to energy;
  • Cheap installation costs;
  • Savings on energy bills compared to other water heating systems;
  • Lower carbon footprint for your home; and
  • Renewable heat incentives are available for both domestic and commercial properties.

What all this translates to is that in a matter of years, the system will pay for itself and from that point on, you will be using your hot water for free!  Would you want that?

Return on Investment (ROI)

Just how long should you wait to be using your solar heating system for free?  Let’s see, with solar thermal systems, you would have to take into consideration the make and model of the particular system you want to install.  This means getting professional advice and help to ensure that you have the right system for your needs.

In general though, you will see a decrease in your water bill that could go anywhere from 50% to 80% almost immediately.  Now, keep in mind that you are using an unlimited and free source of heat so there is no need to worry about fuel shortages or price spikes.  Factor in the available state and federal incentives and it would be safe to say that you can be looking at ROI of anywhere from 4 to 7 years.

If you want a faster ROI then you would have to consider solar energy systems that require lower startup costs but still give you better options than conventional water heating systems.  The incentives can also vary substantially depending on federal regulations, but on the average you can expect:

  • $2,000 for the installation of the solar thermal panels;
  • $2,500 grant as part of the Green Energy for use of solar thermal technology; and
  • A maximum of 30% income tax credit on your federal taxes.

How do you take advantage of all these benefits from using solar water heaters?  Make sure that you have everything installed professionally and you may even get your ROI earlier than you expect.

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