Going Green: Both Cool and Hot

These days, it seems like there are endless ways to streamline the energy consumption of your home.  While many people are trying to cut their bills and reduce their carbon footprint, it can be difficult to know where to start, which improvements are the most efficient and cost-effective, and how to choose the best options for your home.  It's especially difficult if you don't know what all those options are.  After all, everyone's heard of solar energy, but of the specific things that can be done with solar energy, you hear relatively little.  One such option is solar hot water.

How Does It Work?

Solar panels collect energy from the sun and transfer this to create thermal energy.  This energy is moved through pipes to heat your water.  Some solar thermal systems automatically detect water temperature in order to optimise their operations, ensuring that they won't work to heat your water if it's already hot enough.

Why Is This an Improvement?

As opposed to traditional water heating systems, solar panels require no fuel or electricity to actually heat the water.  A minor amount of electricity will be required to pump the energy and the water around your home, but this is minimal when compared to the amount of energy a traditional system uses. Not only does this reduce your home's impact on the environment, but it will also significantly reduce your energy bills.

Is There Any Downside?

Of course, like any piece of equipment, your solar hot water system will require an initial outlay of money to install it.  However, the amount you'll save in those aforementioned energy bills will certainly make it worth it in the long run.  Equally, solar panels may not be suited to every home; they should be affixed on a north-facing roof to get the best result.  If your roof faces east and west instead, you can have the panels mounted on another north-facing part of your home or on specially-built structures.  They can be placed on east- or west-facing surfaces, but they will simply never be as efficient, and you may need to cover a larger surface area in order for them to be effective.  Your contractor will be able to advise you about this.

If solar power would work for your home, then switching over to a solar hot water system could certainly be a great way to save money and the environment at the same time.  Solar energy is certainly where the future lies, so getting ahead of the game now simply cannot be a bad investment.


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