For those of us who pride ourselves on being "green", there are many things we do in our homes every day to reduce the impact we have on the earth. Some common things people like us do include recycling, turning food scraps into compost, and using energy efficient light bulbs and biodegradable trash bags. And of course those of us who are really serious about being green use a solar hot water heater to reduce our energy demands and take advantage of a completely renewable resource.
Did you know that almost 30% of your electricty bill in any given month can be traced back to the energy used to generate hot water? So if your electricity bill was $100.00, that means $30.00 of that was used by your hot water heater. While that may not seem like too much, I'm sure you can think of a better place to spend an extra $30.00 a month. On that note, let's take a look at how a solar hot water heater works.
Unlike an electric, gas, propane or oil hot water heater, a solar power hot water heater relies almost entirely on the energy generated by the sun. Depending on the quality of the solar hot water heater, up to 80% of the energy needed comes from the sun, with the remaining energy needs being supplied by a backup source such as electricity. This is necessary to assure that there will be hot water when the sun is not available, such as on cloudy days or at night. In addition to the basic benefits of using solar energy, there are other benefits to using a solar hot water heater.
One of these benefits is that because they are portable, they are ideal for RV use. This can reduce the amount of gas used by a generator to provide for hot water needs, or electricty used at RV parks or home. Another benefit of a solar hot water heater is that like tankless water heaters, some models can provide instant, on demand hot water both at home and when traveling.
Coleman and Smith are two popular brands of solar power hot water heaters, although there are others out there too. Unless you feel confidant installing your own solar hot water heater, installation is best left to a professional. The prices they charge would be minimal when compared with what it might cost to have someone come in and do repairs on an improperly installed water heater.
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