Your water heater delivers hot water throughout your Pelham, AL home. Most water heaters use electricity or gas, but new models offer a more environmentally friendly solution. One extremely energy-efficient option is a solar water heater. If you have never thought about this green option before, here are three things to think about before making a purchase.
Your Local Climate
For obvious reasons, most solar water heaters perform better in climates that rarely see freezing temperatures. There are two general categories for solar units. Active units use circulating pumps and controls, which make them more efficient. Passive systems rely more on insulated water storage for increased reliability. For areas where the temperatures drop below freezing, an active indirect circulation system is best.
Your Energy Bill
You may choose solar power for your water heater because of environmental concerns. However, these units cost between $4,000 and $7,000 with installation by a professional plumber. Therefore, most homeowners are curious about the cost savings over time. Currently, experts estimate that energy bills cost 20 percent less than with a standard electric water heater. Compared to gas models, the savings are even more dramatic. Plus, you can nab a 30 percent federal tax credit when you put one in your home.
Your Usage Needs
You may want a solar unit for your entire house. However, if this kind of change is cost prohibitive, you may want to think about a smaller scale application. Many people find that solar water heat is great for outdoor water features like pools. In general, these units are lighter and less expensive than home models. Because many areas with pools are sunny anyway, using solar power is a logical choice.
This may be your first time thinking about a solar water heater. If so, you may have plenty of questions. To learn more about solar options and other water heater replacements, talk to the professional plumbers at Benjamin Franklin.