The second step in building an energy efficient solar home is
to examine how much money you would save by replacing your conventional electric
or gas water heater with a solar hot water heating system. (Google: DOE Energy Calculator)
Research shows that an average household with an electric water heater spends about
25% of its home energy costs on heating water. A much more cost effective way to heat
water is to put a solar collector panel on the roof and use the sun's solar energy,
which is free, to heat your water supply. Click here to see how much a solar hot water
heater would save you or search Google for the "DOE Energy Calculator".
Right now incentives programs will pay up to 75% of a solar water heating system's
cost and installation. Most solar hot water installation companies state that solar
water heaters can typically reduce the cost of heating water by as much as 80%. With
that said, most systems will consume a little energy because they are still connected
to the utility gas or electricity supply as a backup measure.
With out-of-pocket costs ranging from $750 to $1,500 after incentives and rebates,
solar water heaters can pay for themselves in a matter of two to four years, depending
on the size of the family's water usage and yearly utility rate increases. That is
why the time to act is now before incentives evaporate.
More important than the financial reward is the societal benefit of reducing carbon
emissions. Using the sun's rays to heat water instead of burning fossil fuel is one
of the most cost-effective ways to reduce carbon emissions that contribute to global warming.
There are two types of active solar water heating systems:
Direct circulation systems - Pumps that circulate household water through
the collectors and into the home. They work well in climates where it rarely freezes.
Indirect circulation systems - Pumps that circulate a non-freezing, heat-transfer
fluid through the collectors and a heat exchanger. This heats the water that then flows
into the home. They are popular in climates prone to freezing temperatures.
Surprising as it may seem, analysts believe that an average residential water
heater produces twice as much carbon emissions than an average car. Another way
of looking at it is that if all households used solar water heaters, the reduction
in CO2 emissions would be the same as doubling the fuel-efficiency of all cars.
Let us make Arizona a better place to breathe and significantly reduce the
number of high ozone alert days! Pick up the phone right now and call several
installation companies listed in the Arizona Solar Handbook, Buyer's Guide and
Business Directory to get a free quote!
5 Steps to Create an Energy Efficient Solar Home in Arizona