Take This Simple First Step to Using Solar Power to Heat Your Home.

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Solar power

Solar energy sounds so cool and even downright sexy.

The idea of using the power of the sun to provoke electricity and heat is both enticing and a bit overwhelming. You’ve adjusted to separating your papers from plastics and glass from recycling but the idea of converting an entire house to an alternative energy source can be absolutely daunting. Rest assured there are intermediary steps between the two extremes. Heating your home’s water with passive solar power is a manageable and affordable first step.

Harvesting sunlight to heat your home’s water can significantly reduce your reliance on nonrenewable energy sources and shrink your carbon footprint. Options range widely in both price and effectiveness and include flat-plate collectors, which are shallow boxes typically mounted on the roof of a home and acts as a heat exchanger to collect the sun’s energy to heat the home’s water system. They typically range close to $1K and are the most economical of the solar energy options for your home.

Solar power

Integral collector-storage systems are very similar to flat plates, but the heat tubes inside the box are much bigger in diameter. Other solar water heating systems include evacuated-tube solar collectors, direct circulation systems, indirect circulation systems, and integral collector-storage passive systems.

If you’re ready to take this step, research what’s the very best option for your home. Home Power, Inc., is a great resource to help you make this decision offering well-researched articles and a variety of solar energy options for your home.

Solar power

Another great resource is the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy. The most important thing is that you heavily research your investment and arm yourself with knowledge that will help you make the best decision for your home size, climate, and financial health.

How much you save and how soon you recoup your initial investment depends on a wide variety of factors, such as the size and efficiency of your water heater, level of usage, and your geographical location.

Solar power

The initial investment for a small-to-medium range system with an 80-gallon storage tank, for instance, can be made for around $3,500, and you’ll be making an immediate impact on both the environment and your power bill. Depending on how much hot water you use, you can expect your system to have fully paid for itself within about four years. After that, you’re heating water for free, with costs limited to standard maintenance on your system.

Amen to that!

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Debra Bokur

Debra Bokur

For her entire adult life, Debra Bokur (debrabokur.com) has been on a worldwide adventure — much of it having to do with spas and wellbeing. An author, journalist, editor, screenwriter and illustrator based in Boulder, Colo., her national awards include a 2015 Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award. She’s the Digital Content Producer and feature writer for Global Traveler Magazine, and contributes to bespoke in-room publications for luxury hotel brands including Montage Magazine, Loews and Sea Island Life. She holds BA degrees in both English Literature and Theater, is a contributing author to the academic book Spreading the Word: Editors on Poetry (The Bench Press, 2001), and was the Poetry Editor for over a decade at the nationally acclaimed literary journal Many Mountains Moving. Along with training horses professionally in dressage and three-day eventing, her work has appeared in National Geographic Traveler, Islands, Shape, Yoga Journal, Fit Yoga, Body+Soul, Women’s Adventure, and a host of other national publications including many equestrian-specific magazines. Follow her on Twitter @SpaTravelPro and Instagram at debrabokur
Debra Bokur

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