Heating water is one of the highest uses of energy in a household so if we intend to use green energy why aren’t more using it for solar water heating? Why not, we say, as the larger the household the higher the cost.
This was a thought when I found that my daughter had installed solar water heating in her new house. The system installed had a supplementary gas heater that brought the temperature up to the level she wanted if the solar water heating did not reach that level. I asked her what she thought she saved in energy usage. She said, during the summer on quite a few days she didn’t use any supplementary power at all as the solar water heater provided all the water at the right temperature.
What about during winter? Well she said, even on days with very little sun the solar water heating provided enough heat to make the water warm. This meant that the supplementary heater only had to top it up. Rarely she said was her monthly bill over $30. This was great considering the household had father, mother and my three teenage granddaughters. (All gorgeous of course and needing plenty of hot water)
So how does solar water heating work? It’s quite simple really so simple that some people have started building their own. Just think of yourself sitting in a car with all the windows closed on a hot summer’s day with cooling off. How hot does it get? Remember those days when car seats were plastic and you returned to your car after a hard day at work and in shorts? Ouch! As you sat down. Just think of all that heat transferred to water.
Tubes filled with water will heat the same way. The water is then transferred to a tank that is continually circulated and will soon heat up a full tank. This is a simplistic way of describing solar water heating. It is a bit more complicated than that, but not so much so. With the right instructions you can build your own. If your are prepared to pay for one to be installed you will still save 50% or more on electricity bills. You would also be contributing significantly to the reduction in global warming.
Have you a swimming pool? Have you considered solar water heating for pools? A lot of community outdoor swimming pools have installed this sort of heating.
Most existing water heaters have a finite life so when you need to renew then it is a good time to consider solar water heating.
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