Last Updated Jul 9, 2010 · Written by Jaclyn Fitzgerald
If you have a standard electric or gas hot water system but want to take advantage of the benefits of solar hot water, you’ll be pleased to know that it is possible to convert. Here’s some more information.
There are several benefits to converting to a solar hot water system in your home. Firstly, hot water is one of the biggest users of electricity in your home and thus one of the main contributors to your energy bills. Solar hot water uses the energy of the sun to heat your water and this energy is free. This means that you’ll be saving yourself a bundle of money. Solar hot water also reduces the amounts of greenhouse gas emissions created by your home, reducing your carbon footprint and helping the environment. Finally, installing solar hot water will increase the resale value of your home.
Just about any type of hot water system can be converted to solar hot water. If your existing tank is in good condition, you can even use it as part of your new solar hot water system. Your new solar hot water system can be a closed couple system (panels and tank on the roof) or a split system (tank is on the ground and a pump is used to circulate the water). A plumber (green or normal) will be able to make all the necessary adjustments needed to install your new solar hot water system. This includes running extra piping, replacing piping as required, installing the booster system, installing the pump (again, if required), and ensuring that the roof panels are in the ideal position to catch the sun. Retrofit kits can be used to convert to solar hot water and these are around half the price of a new system.
There is no need to worry about your solar hot water system not providing you with enough hot water as each system is fitted with a gas or electric booster that you switch on or that switches on automatically to heat the water when it drops below a certain temperature.
For more information about solar hot water, please see our solar hot water feature or take a look through our directory to find a professional that is near you.
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