Solar Water Heater

About 1.5 million homes and businesses now employ solar hot water heaters.  I keep up to date with HVAC “green” innovations, and solar hot water heaters are the latest industry buzz.

Solar water heaters come in a variety of forms but can be categorized as either passive or active.  Solar collectors and storage tanks are integral factors, but active systems use a circulating pump and temperature control, while passive systems rely on laws of physics (hot water rises and cold water falls).  The latter can be cheaper and longer lasting, but are generally less effective.

Surprisingly enough, climate isn’t much of a factor as 40 percent of all homes in the country currently have ample sunlight for a solar-powered water heating system.  Aside from the innovation involved in these systems, solar water heaters are an impressively effective way for us to move towards a sustainable society.  In just one year, a typical electric water heater produces almost double the carbon dioxide of an average car!  Believe it or not, changing to a solar water system would be a bigger help to the environment than driving an electric car.

As is the case with most “green” transitions, there are upfront costs.  An investment in a typical four-person system is eligible for substantial state and federal tax breaks and may get you over $3,000 in rebates.  Not to mention that sunlight is free.  These systems can pay for themselves in as little as four years, which I consider to be a genuinely sound economic investment.

If you’re thinking of going solar, it’s best to get an expert involved to walk you through building and zoning regulations as well as the selection of the system that will save you the most energy in your home. Contact Burkholder’s today. Click here or give us a call at (610) 816-6889.