The fact that the sun is a powerful heat source has been recognized throughout history. Strong early evidence of passive solar systems date as far back as the 5th century; entire cities in Greece were designed to ensure that every home could benefit from the warmth of the sunlight during winter months. Turn back the clock another 800 years to around 425 BC and consider the great philosopher Socrates, who lived in a home heated by the sun.
“Passive Solar” is a method of heating and cooling buildings strictly by way of architectural design. Once electricity was invented, the more clean and natural methods of heating homes seemingly became as outdated as wooden teeth. Perhaps one of the best revivals of all time has been the resuscitation of the use of solar power. Only nowadays, tapping into the sun as a resource has the added benefit of utilizing advanced technology which has gradually become affordable for others besides just the wealthy.
For the majority of Americans, using solar power is like venturing into a futuristic dream of pure air and clean energy. But as the saying goes, the future is now. Becoming a bona fide part of the solar movement can be as simple and affordable as using a solar hot water system. Taking that first step is much easier when you understand exactly what you’re getting into. The following basic questions and answers can help.
What is a solar hot water system? It is a system which uses the sun to heat water by way of a collector, a heat transfer circuit, and a storage system for the hot water. A solar hot water system may be a single unit or 3 separate components.
Is a solar hot water system cost effective? Yes! In as few as three years or in ten years at most (depending on several variables), your solar water heater pays for itself. A simple passive solar hot water system, considering its life span, is one of the most inexpensive kinds of hot water systems available. And if you should ever sell your home, research proves that for every $1 you saved on your utility bill because of your solar hot water system, your home value increases from $11 to $25. This is a significant amount because heating water accounts for 30% of your energy bill.
Does using a solar hot water system really make a difference, environmentally? Yes! You reduce environmental problems because significantly fewer fossil fuels are burned. Not only that, but your purchase of a solar hot water system helps to create local jobs in the solar industry; this encourages more people to switch to solar power.
What are some other benefits provided by a solar hot water system?
• Your home is more marketable; solar-powered homes are typically the first to be snatched up on the real estate market.
• Tax credits and exemptions for the purchase of the system are likely available from Federal, state, and local government agencies.
• You can soak in a luxuriously hot tub of water, enjoying the fact that it has been heated naturally, doing no harm to the environment.
As mentioned before, now is the perfect time to begin using solar power. Whether you choose to purchase a solar hot water or solar electric system, the monetary and environmental benefits make solar power far surpass power from the electric company. See the benefits for yourself with a solar system today!