Many of us love to spend about 30 seconds washing, followed by 20 minutes just contemplating life under the shower every morning. While we think that’s a great use of time, the problem is the cost.

Did you know that the average family uses 20% of its total energy consumption on water heating? That’s a lot on every utility bill.  Setting a timer in the shower is definitely one way to cut back, but could there be a better way?

There is  – solar energy. And there are many advantages to solar water heaters besides long, hot, cheap showers. Let’s dive in.

What Is a Solar Water Heater?

A solar water heater uses the power of the sun to heat the water you use in your home. Direct systems circulate water through collectors, allowing the sun to heat it to the correct level. Indirect systems use a non-freezing liquid and transfer heat to water, which is then stored in a tank until it is needed.

There are a few different types of collectors:

Batch Collectors

Batch collectors use energy from the sun to heat water and store it in an insulated box until it is needed. The water gets very hot, so the home’s hot water system will mix it with cooler water to prevent scalding.

Flat Plate Collectors

Flat plate collectors look a little like solar panels. The water runs through the plates. Two collectors can heat enough water to supply about half the needs of an average family.

Evacuated Tube Collectors

Evacuated tubes work like a thermos. The water or heat transfer liquid is kept in a vacuum, meaning very little heat is lost. They’re very efficient but more expensive.

Most US homes with a solar hot water system use electric pumps to move water from the collectors to the storage tanks. Passive systems require no pumps, so no gas or electric to run.

Advantages of Solar Water Heaters

Solar water heaters cut down our carbon footprints. They have a direct impact on our use of fossil fuels. The closer we can get to 100% of our hot water coming from our solar systems, the more we can reduce our carbon footprints. 

Free Hot Water

By harnessing the power of the sun, you can have completely free hot water. No need to worry about those long showers or how much you’re spending when you wash the dishes. 

Solar is a clean source of energy and a solar water heating system should last for at least 20 years. This is longer than most gas and electric heaters.

Low Maintenance

There are very few moving parts in a solar water heating system. This makes them low maintenance and easy to repair. Over time, the pumps may need replacing but other parts should go on for many years. 

All you will need to do is keep the system clean. Schedule regular inspections to make sure that there are no leaks and the system is working at its full capacity.

Tax Credits

Currently, we can claim tax credits when we install a solar system. The federal tax credit is for solar photovoltaic systems. It stands at 26% for 2022, falling to 22% in 2023.

Talk to your supplier about whether the type of system you’re considering would qualify for these credits.

Disadvantages of Solar Water Heaters

As with all systems that use water, scaling can be an issue. We can avoid this by using water softeners or by having a regular program for descaling the system.

Corrosion is another issue that can shorten the lifespan of your system. Talk to the contractor about the most corrosion-resistant materials to use to keep this problem at bay.

Another disadvantage is that, depending on how much hot water we use, we may not be able to supply 100% of our needs through solar energy. We will still need either natural gas or electrical water heaters to meet our needs. But even if we can’t supply all of our needs through this system, we should still see a big reduction in our electricity bills.

To ensure that we have hot water when we need it, it’s good to get an insulated tank. This allows you to draw off hot water early in the morning and in the evening when the sun is not shining.

An Alternative Source of Renewable Energy

Going solar is great but it’s not the right option for everyone. Renters may have no choice but to use traditional utility companies. Also, solar panels are expensive and can tie us in to long finance or leasing deals. 

Going solar saves money in the long term. But for many people, the dream of free energy takes a long time to realize. 

Now, there’s another way to go solar without doing a single thing to our houses. Some energy companies produce solar energy and sell it directly to consumers. We get a fixed-rate plan for solar electricity with no need to have solar panels on our homes. 

The utility company generates the energy at solar farms. These huge energy generators produce far more solar power than we could ever generate in our own homes. You then access this through the regular grid system!

Make the Move to Solar Energy Today

If you live in Texas, solar energy is the obvious choice. There’s plenty of sun and solar water heaters can covert it into long, hot showers. But what if you’re not ready to commit to installing a solar heater or solar panels on your home?

Happily, installing a solar water heater is not the only way to get 100% green energy. At Chariot Energy, we supply 100% clean, Texas-made electricity directly to your home. No solar panels, no leasing, and no installation costs.

Check out our plans, call us at 855-524-2746 or chat with us online today!

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