Taking a nice hot shower after a tiring day is probably one of the best things in the world – it makes you feel good and brings you back to life. But, what happens if there is hot water and you are condemned to a cold shower instead? In order to prevent this, you must make sure there is always hot water available, but this kind of luxury significantly increases your energy consumption and costs a lot of money. However, you are free to use solar power and create a solar hot water system that provides a constant flow of hot water and cuts your energy bill in half, making it truly energy efficient. The potential of such a system is great, but can you recognize and utilize it?
Seize the Opportunity
A hot water system heated by solar power is a unique opportunity to do something good for your household and the overall energy consumption. That said, it has to be installed properly if you want it work. What most people have a problem with is adequately adapting the system into their lives – they just seem to forget to let the panels do their job!
So, instead of organizing their time more efficiently and being just a little bit more patient, they turn to traditional water heating options and thus do not put their solar system to a full use. This is just one reason for this system to be named a “hit and miss” by a 2015 study – others include unfavorable weather conditions, lack of standards and poor installation. Nevertheless, can something be done?
First of all, you cannot install and operate this system on your own unless you are an expert. Are you an expert? If not, contact one – seek help from your local alternative energy authorities, as well as people who already have this kind of system. They can share their experience and tell you the dos and don’ts you cannot discover on your own.
Check the Pipes
Before installing a solar hot water system, you need to make sure that all your water pipes are functional and up to the highest standard. They have to be properly protected and equipped with at least 15 mm of insulation, claim my local plumbers. If this step is overlooked, your pipes will lose energy and heat, which is counterproductive when you are trying to ensure hot water.
Is This the System for You?
A solar hot water system requires an abundance of sunlight in order to work correctly, but does your area have enough of it? Calculate the number of sunshine hours on an annual basis and see whether that will be enough to keep your water hot. Also, think about your daily water needs and choose the size of the water tank accordingly – remember: the bigger, the better.
Change Your Habits
Those who love taking hot showers in the morning are not the ideal users of a solar hot water system. The water needs some time to heat after the dark night, so you might want to change some of your habits. For instance, start taking showers during the day or before you go to bed. Alternatively, install a booster switch that will help you regulate the water temperature during cloudy and rainy days.
Challenges and Benefits
Adapting to this system is not easy – figuring out whether the water is hot or not and planning your showers in advance can be challenging. Yet, a solar hot water system will provide you with about 90% of your monthly water needs, consequently reducing your energy bill and save you a ton of money.