Solar Heat and Water Heat

Solar energy is a great new power alternative on the market today, besides providing power to your home, there are other systems that heat your home and water. Just think, no more heating with gas or electric when you have a solar system in place. Although it may not totally replace the old reliable heating systems, solar can greatly reduce the costs.

Think of the costs associated with the hot water you use. Besides the obvious use of hot water in baths and showers, think of washing clothes,...MORE hands, and dishes. you might be surprised at the amount of hot water you use daily. virtually eliminate that cost and you will see a huge savings!

Heating your home can also be a great way to save on energy bills. Do you know that I have saved thousands by adding a wood burner that heats water to heat my home? It simply is pumped through a heat exchanged coil atop my furnace and the furnace fan blows air through it to heat the home. I actually went from $3,000 a year in propane gas bills to $300 in a year! Wow! What a savings. Imagine the cost savings if the water was heated by the sun!

Finally, think about the savings you could have by heating your swimming pool water. It really works and I can testify to that from watching my neighbor build a home-built system. With a long coil of black plastic water hose, some fittings, a taco pump and a valve to control the flow rate, he had built a water-heating system. Although it wasn't a quick way to heat the swimming pool, it did indeed heat the water nicely.

  • 01 of 03

    Solar Energy Can Heat Your Water

    Solar Cells
    Solar Cells. Photo: Getty Images

    Have you considered the possibility of solar energy heating your water instead of using gas or conventional electric water heaters? I know you may say that you'll have to buy all of these pieces to get this option to work. There will installation that you may or may not be able to do. And the cost, well maybe you should just stick to the one you have now, right?

    Not so fast! If you think about it, it's no different than changing out an outdated furnace, water heater, or air conditioning...MORE unit. You may increase the efficiency by 15-30% by replacing the unit, but there is an up-front cost associated with that change as well. Although, the change will save you money over the years, so that should be considered over a period of time.

  • 02 of 03

    Solar Energy Can Heat Your Home

    Solar Cells
    Solar Cells. Photo: Getty Images

    Solar heating is referred to as passive space heating and in this example, I'm going to try and explain how this works. One way is to use hot water heat in your home that can be created by using sun-heated tubes of water on your roof and pumping it into your water heater.

    With the addition of a sun room, we'll refer to it as a solar room, for example, the all glass room allows the daylight hour sunshine to filter in and warm the room through a collector called a transparent covering in...MORE the glass. Now, if we add plants and rocks for a nice visual, the rocks will actually store the heat of the sun and that energy can be used when the sun goes down to heat the room. Stored energy is great and has a lot of uses, like batteries for instance.

  • 03 of 03

    Heat Your Swimming Pool With Solar Energy

    Solar Cells
    Solar Cells. Photo: Getty Images

     Swimming pools are one of the greatest joys of summer for children and parents alike.  Everyone is excited the first day the pool is opened, except when the pool is just to cold to jump into it.  To fix that problem, you can add a solar blanket that will warm the water, much to everyone's delight.  This heating works directly through the blanket and no other installations are needed.  However, if you'd like to get a little more high tech, simply install a solar hot water heating system...MORE This utilizes solar hot water heating panels that are mounted on your roof to collect the sun's heat and then is circulated to the pool.  As the water is slowly pumped from the pool, heated and then returned from the panels, the pool temperature is increased.