Does free hot water and heat for your home sound too good to be true? Well, it is. But the sun does provide free and unlimited heating potential once you have the right equipment! Solar thermal heating is a great option for environmentally conscious homeowners.
Is it worth the investment though? How does it work? Keep reading to learn what you need to know!
What Is Solar Thermal Heating?
The basic premise of solar thermal heating is that you can utilize the sun the heat your water in your home, as well as even the home itself. Think of when you leave a garden hose out in the sun. When you turn on the facet, the water that’s been sitting in the hose all day comes out very warm.
The same idea applies here. For a solar thermal water heater system, there are typically large collection tanks that are heated by directing the sun’s rays to heat them up. The water is then pumped right into your home, already heated. Once the system is in place, there is zero cost for hot water.
You can even heat your home with a solar system. For this method, usually, solar thermal heating panels are installed on the outside of your home. They are heated from the sun and radiate the heat inside your home. There is also a method that uses hot water (heated from the sun) to run through pipes that heat the inside of your home.
Using Solar Thermal As Part of Overall Green Plan
These systems are related to solar panels used to create power, but they are separate technologies. Combining solar heating with solar power and efficient windows can substantially reduce your environmental footprint, as well as your utility costs.
Solar heating can provide a majority of your heat needs but often needs to be supplemented with traditional heating. To improve the percentage that is provided by solar means, well insulated and efficient windows are key. They will help retain the heat you produce. Learn more about this here.
Is It Worth It?
So, it’s a good environmental decision. Is it worth the cost? A solar thermal system typically will cost around $8,000 to $10,000. This is a significant investment, but if you are going to be living in your home for many years, the cost savings will surpass the cost.
Also, in most areas, there are tax credits that can help you recoup some of the cost. Usually, this comes to about $1,000 off the price of installing the system. After paying off the investment, most of your heating needs will be free.
The bottom line is that it is worth the cost if you’ll be spending at least 8-10 years in your current home since average heating costs for a home are about $1,1000.
Go Green with Solar Heat
Solar thermal heating can be a great environmentally friendly solution to heating your water and your home. Combine it with solar power and good, efficient windows, and you’ll immediately notice the savings.
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