Many people in the U.S. can produce more than half their domestic hot water needs with a solar hot water system. In
Arizona and other southern regions of the US this can be more than 80% savings. A solar hot water system costs more than a conventional water heater, typically between $7,000 and $8,000. However, after rebates and tax incentives the cost to the client for a new solar hot water heater including a new tank is $2 – 3,000. Homeowners may want to budget for routine maintenance on some units to include periodic checks on the pH of the system’s with glycol solution.
A gas water heater should never be used as the only tank in a solar hot water system. In a solar storage tank, water stratifies by temperature; cool water from the bottom of the tank is pulled up to the collectors on the roof to be heated then returned to the top of the tank. The colder the incoming water, the higher the solar collector’s efficiency. In a single tank system, the electric element or gas flame keeps the stored water hot, leaving no cold water available to send to the solar collectors. Solar hot water systems can be either active or passive. Most solar hot water systems use a pump to move fluid through one or two collectors. Thermosiphon systems, suitable for simple domestic hot water systems in frost-free climates, rely on natural convection to move water.
As mentioned above, in most cases, credits or rebates can defray some of the cost of installing a solar water heater and are available from local utilities or state and federal governments. Solar
systems offer stability and predictability when it comes to energy costs and supply. That’s not something that any system running on fossil fuels can match.
Older tank-style hot water heaters are not very efficient whether they are electric or gas. They are typically set up to run on their own to heat the water in the tank when the water in the tank goes below a certain temperature. The water heater does not know when you need the hot water so it heats your water whether you are in need of the hot water or not. This is very inefficient as it happens when you are at work, sleeping, on vacation, at the grocery store, always. The best thing you can do to eliminate these wasted dollars on utility bills is to have a new Solar Hot Water Heater installed.
Solar Hot Water Heaters are very affordable (typically $6,000 to $10,000 before rebates) especially with the current tax incentives and local utility rebates that are being offered. Costs after tax incentives and rebates can go as low as $2,000 which includes a NEW, energy efficient (Energy Star) Electric Hot Water Heater with the system. We also offer dealer financing to our clients should you choose. Solar hot water heaters will provide one of the quickest payoffs you can do to your home to make it more Green. It has also been proven that homes with solar or green enhancements will sell quicker and at a higher cost per square foot than those without. Ready to Go Green?
Should you chose to not upgrade to a solar hot water heater, there are some simple things you can do to save energy, reduce pollution and save money on your utility bill with your old water heater. As I mentioned above, tank-style water heaters work to keep the water in the tank hot around the clock, even when hot water is not needed. But since the tank constantly loses heat to the surrounding air, it kicks back on to heat the water again and again in case it’s needed.
Here are a few tips to increase your older tank’s efficiency:
Lower the tank’s temperature: continue to lower the temperature on your tank to the lowest point that your normal household usage still has enough hot water. This will also prevent scalding.
Install a water heater timer: this will allow you to adjust when you water heater is turned on and off. It allows you to have the tank turn on when you typically use the hot water and turn off when you do not. Timers are easy to install and relatively inexpensive ($40-160). Programmable models are even available so you can fully customize time-frames.
Wrap your tank: you can wrap your hot water tank in a hot water tank blanket. They can be purchased at many hardware stores.
Fix all leaky faucets.
Insulate the room the tank is located in.
Opt for off-peak metering: if this is available in your area, and place such appliances as the hot water heater, dishwasher and washing machine on it.
Turn it off when you’re out of town: For electric heaters without a switch, you can turn it off at the breaker box. For gas heaters, follow the instructions printed on the heater. (Usually you can just turn the thermostat, NOT the gas knob, to OFF — unless you feel you’re competent to re-light the heater when you return.)
When it’s time for replacement, give us a call for a free quote on a solar hot water system. We will also recycle your old water heater. Feel free to contact us should you have any questions.
The mission is to educate the public on what we can all easily do right now to limit our negative impact on the environment. Please help us by joining the movement and doing your part in Going Green! Erus Builders has partnered with a major Solar and Green Product organization that brings the opportunity of going green with the use of solar and other renewable energy products to every homeowner in the nation.
We recently launched an opportunity to home owners get a Solar Water Heater installed in your home that could start making you money within months. We make it effortless by providing you with all the information needed to receive the rebates and tax incentives. Just fill out your personal information, sign, send it in, and collect your checks. In addition, we will continue to educate the public and provide you with the latest information on green living and what we all should do to play our part in living off the grid. Please sign up to the right to receive our free informative newsletter.
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