One of the most affordable ways to switch to solar power is with a solar hot water system. Instead of generating electricity, solar thermal panels heat water using sunlight, no matter what the temperature is outside. Solar water heating is perfect not only for residences, but also commercial uses including hotels, car washes, nurseries and even breweries.
These systems are also ideal for heating swimming pools and spas. In fact, during our recent visit to the sunny desert Southwest, I wondered why more properties did not rely on solar thermal panels for outdoor water recreation.
A lot of energy is required to heat water for washing dishes, laundry and bathing. With a solar hot water system, hot water is “free,” and much less expensive. You’ll watch your electricity or natural gas bills drop dramatically after installing solar water heating.
Solar hot water systems do require an initial investment, but property owners report savings of 50-80% on their energy bills as a result. Not only that, but you don’t have to worry about rising utility costs over time. Your solar hot water will always cost the same after installation…. free! Solar thermal panels also are eco-friendly, with no greenhouse gas emissions.
While there are a number of DIY instructional videos and websites on the Internet, most people recommend hiring an expert to help you both determine the type of solar hot water system to install and to actually perform the installation. Costs of solar hot water range from $500-$10,000 for homeowners, depending on the type of system and other requirements.
For more information about the different types of solar hot water systems and solar thermal panels, click here.