Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Solar Hot Water Heating

In our Solar Thermal article, we gave you some information about how solar water heaters save money and the environment. This article will offer a little more information on how solar water heating works...

Water heating is usually the second leading home energy expense, costing the average family over $400, a year. Depending on where you live, and how much hot water your family uses, a solar water heater can pay for itself in as little as five years. A well-maintained system can last 15-20 years, longer than a conventional water heater.

A solar water heater works in the same way as solar space heating. A solar collector is mounted on the roof, or in an area of direct sunlight. It collects sunlight and converts it to heat.

When the collector becomes hot enough, a thermostat starts a pump. The pump circulates a fluid, called a heat transfer fluid, through the collector for heating. The heated fluid then goes to a storage tank where it heats water.

The hot water may then be piped to a faucet or shower head. Most solar water heaters that operate in winter use a heat transfer fluid, similar to antifreeze, that will not freeze when the weather turns cold.

Today over 1.5 million homes in the U.S. use solar heaters to heat water for their homes or swimming pools.

The bottom line is...

You should join the 1.5 million.

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