- Home Improvement
5 Benefits of Using a Solar Water Heater
One of the easiest ways that you can incorporate the principles of green living into your everyday life is by installing a solar hot water at your home. Hot water is something that most people use on a daily basis; it's a vitally important component of life in America, yet most people never think twice about this luxury. As useful as hot water is to all of us, it makes sense that utilizing a solar hot water heater to power our showers is a great way to go green. No matter which type of solar hot water heater that you choose to install, they will all afford you these 5 benefits:
Solar Hot Water Heaters Reduce Your Utility Bill
Studies of energy usage of a typical American home indicate that hot water heaters account for anywhere from 15 to 30% of as homeowner's overall utility bill. Imagine, for a moment, what you could do with the money that you will save each month on your energy bill after you have installed a new solar hot water heater. For many people in these tough economic times, this sum of money can be quite a significant chunk of change. With many solar hot water heating systems paying for themselves in as little as 4 years, you will quickly enjoy the lasting benefits of getting essentially free hot water for your home everyday.
Solar Hot Water Heaters are Smart Investments
In today's world, green technology is gaining popularity among buyers and sellers of residential and commercial real estate. In general, making environmentally friendly improvements to your home is an easy way to increase the overall value and appeal of your property. Real estate agents also look for the use of green technologies on a property as a way to promote and advertise it.
In addition to improving the value of your home, solar hot water heaters usually have a return on investment of at least 10 to 30% over the life of a typical mortgage. It must be noted that the returns made on your investment are tax-free and will continue to increase over time due to the rising prices of natural gas and electricity. And the deal gets even sweeter when you account for many of the government tax credits that are available for most solar hot water heaters. Simply put, investing in a solar hot water heater for your home makes financial sense.
Solar Hot Water Heaters Reduce Pollution Emissions
It really goes without saying that solar hot water heaters are great for the environment. Did you know that a new solar hot water heater can prevent up to 5,000lbs of carbon dioxide and 20lbs of sulfur dioxide from being released into the atmosphere annually? With a reduced utility bill comes a reduced carbon footprint and therefore a reduced demand for fossil fuels. As anyone will tell you, the obvious result will be an overall decrease in the amount of air and water pollution that enters the atmosphere.
Solar Hot Water Heaters Promote Energy Independence
When using a standard home water heater, the ability to take a hot shower is really in the hands of the utility providers. If there is ever an interruption in your electrical or natural gas service (or if you forget to pay the bill) you will temporarily not be able to enjoy the luxury of hot water. With a solar hot water heater, this inconvenience will be alleviated as you can have warm water at almost anytime of the year, even if there is a power outage or a gas leak. Taking a step toward energy independence is a great way to ensure the future security and stability of you and your family.
Solar Hot Water Heaters are Reliable
Did you know that solar hot water heaters are just as reliable as their gas or electric counterparts and have a lifespan of 15 to 40 years if properly maintained? Well, it's true. Solar hot water heating systems can easily supply a home's hot water needs for many years without experiencing any malfunctions or failures. And as long as the sun is shining, the hot water will continue to flow through your pipes and plumbing fixtures. Even on days when it is cloudy out, there is still usually enough radiant heat available to warm your water.
Another reason that solar hot water heaters are reliable is because they have so few parts. The fewer the parts that a system contains, the less likely that you will experience a malfunction or breakdown. In fact, some solar hot water heating configurations consist only of a tank, a heat collector, and some standard plumbing. This makes solar hot water heaters very easy to maintain, requiring no more care than a standard water heating system. Most of the solar systems available today simply require an annual checkup and a system flush to ensure that the machinery stays operational.
Comparison to Conventional Water Heating Systems
So we know that there are many benefits to solar water heaters, but how do they compare to standard heaters? Please refer to the table below:
Solar Water Heater
Gas or Electric Water Heater
$2,500 - $4,000
$300 - $600
Annual Operating Costs
$40 - $60
$500 - $700
15 - 40 Years
8 - 20 Years
Lifetime Operating Cost
$600 to $2,400
$4,000 to $14,000
Total Lifecycle Cost
$3,100 - $6,400
$4,300 - $14,600
Typical Fossil Fuel Emissions
Return on Investment
10 to 30%
Today's Solar hot water technologies can be operated efficiently and affordably in any climate. Systems can be specifically designed for various climatic and geographical areas of the country. The technology behind solar hot water systems is affordable and proven. As you can see, there are plenty of benefits of solar hot water heaters. So why not install one in your home?