As a homeowner, when something breaks or stops functioning properly in your home, it is on your proverbial shoulders to take care of the problem. Some of these things come with pretty big price tags and can cause one to want to sit back and really evaluate the situation. Take for example, a hot water heater. This is not a luxury one’s home can do without, this is where all the heated water for your home comes from – hot water for cooking, laundry, showering and more. But this is a big investment, and with all the talk about possible fuel hikes and environmental degradation, are alternatives such as solar water heaters worth considering?
The first thing you have to consider is how much hot water you use. Regardless, you will save money in the long run by having a solar water heater as opposed to a traditional one, but the more hot water you use the more savings you will see on your monthly utility bill. One of the biggest things that turns people off of solar water heaters is their higher initial cost. A solar water heater comes with a significantly higher price tag than a gas or electric one does. However, you have to look at incentives and the big picture to really be able to compare the costs.
In some areas of the country, a significant amount of the energy used in a home is used to heat water and keep it heated. Traditional gas and electric water heaters keep the tank of water heated at all time, requiring a constant influx of energy. With a solar water heater, this energy comes from the sun. Most homes can get nearly all their hot water needs from solar power and this really reflects in their monthly utility bills. Most estimates say that it takes about five years for a solar water heater to pay for itself and after that, you are getting pure savings. Tax credits are also available to those who choose to go solar over traditional, helping to offset the initial costs of these systems.
With a solar water heater, you can enjoy the perks of hot water without all the wasted, polluting energy that comes along with traditional water heaters. Tax incentives and lowered utility bills help to make this a more fiscally attractive option for those who need to replace their water heaters. With a solar water heater, once it has paid for itself, you simply enjoy the savings. You do not have to be at the whim of fluctuating energy costs or part of the environmental problem either!
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