Understanding Your Solar Water Heater
Florida lives up to its nickname “the Sunshine State,” and many homeowners throughout North Central Florida take advantage of this by harnessing solar energy to light their homes, keep their pools warm, and heat water for their sinks and tubs. One of the best ways to harness the free, abundant energy of the sun is to install solar water heaters in Clermont or Hernando . These systems supplement your current gas or electric water heater with solar power. Read on to learn more about how they work.
Water Heater Basics
Most residential water heaters feature a reserve tank that holds dozens of gallons of hot water, ready for use at a moment’s notice, and solar hot water heaters are no exception. Roof-mounted collectors (similar to solar panels) absorb thermal energy from sunlight, and use this to heat the water before delivering it to the tank. This reduces energy consumption, since you are not burning gas or using electricity to heat the water—only free solar energy.
There are three basic designs for the energy collectors that form part of solar water heater systems. Passive collectors feature an insulated box containing large copper tubes which hold the water. They are equipped with tempering valves to keep water at a comfortable temperature when it comes out of the tap, since the water will continue to heat up in the tank. Flat plate collectors consist of an assembly of copper tubes and tempered glass. Indirect polymer collectors, which are the most energy-efficient type, feature a series of self-insulated tubes to provide maximum heat.
Many solar water heaters use direct circulation, where the water itself passes through the collectors before being stored in the tank. In warm climates such as that of South Florida, this system is ideal. The best for North Central Florida are indirect systems, also called closed-loop systems, which feature a special heat transfer fluid that warms the water in the tank. The systems can either be passive, where natural convection pumps the water from the collectors to the tank, or forced-circulation, which use pumps, valves, and controllers.
Saving Money with Solar Attic Fans
On long, hot summer days in North Central Florida, the sunlight shining on your roof can cause the temperature in your attic to climb into the triple digits. This can have several negative effects. Your air conditioner may have to work extra to keep the rest of the house cool, the things you store in the attic may be damaged, and the materials of your roof can warp and deform. Fortunately, there is an elegant solution: install a solar attic fan in Clermont. Here is how a solar attic fan can save you money:
Reducing Air Conditioning Costs
Warm air tends to rise, making the higher levels of your home warmer than the lower ones. However, if your attic is already very hot, the warm air in the rest of the house will have nowhere to go, so the temperature inside will rise. This will make your air conditioner work overtime, causing your utility bills to rise. But when you harness solar energy with an attic fan, the attic itself will stay cool, and the heat in the rest of your home can also rise and vent naturally, reducing the amount your air conditioner has to work and your bills along with it.
Preventing Roof Damage
Most attics are unfinished, which means that the inside layer of the roof is bare and exposed. If the attic is unvented, during the summer warm air can condense on the inside of the roof and damage the wood. Also, warm air in the attic can cause the roofing materials to buckle, which can in turn lead to loose shingles and leaks. Solar attic fans vent warm air outside so that the attic doesn’t heat up, even in the middle of summer.
Keeping Your Keepsakes Safe
A solar attic fan also helps to regulate the temperature inside your attic so that any items you store there won’t be damaged. Old clothing and family photographs, which are among the mementoes that homeowners often store in their attics, are particularly sensitive to temperature fluctuations. The fan pays for itself in a very short time since it runs on free solar energy .
A Look at the Tax Benefits of Going Solar
Many residents of North Central Florida are already aware of the energy-saving and environmental benefits of installing solar panels near Clermont. Since solar energy is free and renewable, you reduce your utility bills and your carbon footprint when you harness it to heat your water and light your home. But did you know that you can also receive tax credits for installing solar panels and other solar equipment?
When you install a solar electric system or solar water heater, you can receive a tax credit of 30%. Solar attic fans are also eligible for tax credits of 30%. Installing a solar tubular skylight can get you a tax credit of 10%. You will need to fill out IRS form 5695 and fill it with your federal taxes in order to receive the credit. Visit EnergyStar.gov for more information about the process of saving money on your taxes with solar power.
What Are the Key Features of Solar Tubular Lights?
In North Central Florida, the sun shines year-round, providing free solar energy and lighting. That’s why many homeowners choose to install solar tube lighting in the Villages. Solar tubular skylights provide softer illumination than traditional skylights, and they are much less obtrusive.
The slim, barely visible units will not affect your home’s curb appeal because they blend in almost invisibly with the roof line. They are watertight, and designed to release any condensation that may naturally occur with temperature and humidity fluctuations. The unique system of reflecting mirrors inside the solar tubes delivers soft, UV-free lighting that won’t fade your furniture or your rugs. Installation does not require any structure changes to your home or your roof, and you can select an option light kit, vent kit, or dimmer kit to customize your solar tube lighting. No matter what style of roof you have, there is a solar tube light designed for your home. Discover what thousands of other homeowners in Clermont have and install one in your home today.
What Are Your Solar Water Heater Options
Solar power is one of the most abundant resources in Florida, and installing a solar water heater near Clermont is one of the most effective ways to take advantage of it. Solar water heaters will save you money on your energy bills, and provide you with plenty of hot water for all your needs.
Solar water heating is very simple in principle: the sun’s rays strike a collector, and the water is heated either directly by the solar energy or by means of a heat transfer fluid. Solar water heaters work in tandem with your current water heating system. If you have a gas water heater, you will need to install a second tank to take advantage of the solar system. If you currently use an electric water heater, you can install optional photovoltaic (PV) solar panels to provide electricity so that you can have hot water even in the event of a power outage.
Comparing Gas and Solar Pool Heaters
Although Florida’s weather is famously warm all year long, you still need a pool heater if you want to go for a swim in comfortable water most of the year. Generally, without a heater the temperature of the water will not be higher than the nighttime low. Many people use solar pool heating systems in Clermont because solar energy is inexpensive and safer to use than gas.
Compared to gas heaters, solar pool heating has a low monthly cost—after installation, it is completely cost-free. Solar pool heating systems also allow you to cool the pool down in the middle of summer if the water is too hot. Also, going solar is a much more environmentally friendly option. The gas that other pool heaters run on needs to be extracted from the earth and pumped to your home via municipal gas lines. Solar pool heating panels, which are installed on your roof, are unobtrusive and when properly cared for can last for decades.
A Primer on Solar Energy
When you take a stroll through the community, you may notice that many residents have installed solar pool heating panels in the Villages. In fact, many homeowners all across North Central Florida take advantage of the abundant sunshine to light their homes and heat their water with solar energy . The primer below will tell you how you can take advantage of this free, renewable energy source to lower your utility bills.
Solar Water Heating
Solar pool heaters and water heaters are typically installed in one day, and they allow you to start harnessing solar power immediately. Both use special types of panels called “collectors” mounted on your roof, which heat water before it is pumped back into the holding tank or the pool. You can substantially cut down on your electric and gas bill when you don’t pay to heat the water in your pool or the water you use in your shower.
Solar Powered Lights
You can light your home with solar energy directly or indirectly. Low-profile solar tubular skylights provide a bright , natural, white light by bouncing the light through a mirrored tube before it reaches your interior space, and their unique design filters out harmful UV rays. Solar tubes provide much more light than traditional skylights; and with no fading or heat. You can also indirectly power your lights, and any other appliances in your home, by installing photovoltaic (PV) cells, commonly called “solar panels,” on your roof.
Solar Attic Fans
During hot Florida summers, temperatures can soar in your home’s attic. Elevated temperatures in the attic can substantially increase your cooling bill, damage items that you store there, and even cause the shingles on your roof to buckle and leak. To keep the air temperature cool, you can install a solar attic fan. These low-profile vent units are powered entirely by sunlight, so the fan only runs when the attic is warm. You don’t need to run any extra wires in your roof because the motor and solar panel unit are completely self-contained.
Get the Most from Your Pool with Solar Heating
To take advantage of the excellent Florida weather, follow the lead of thousands of homeowners who have already installed solar pool heating systems in Clermont . A pool heater allows you to swim year-round, and by taking advantage of solar energy it won’t even add to your utility bills. Solar pool heaters can even help cool your pool down at the height of summer when the water temperature may be hotter than you prefer. Read below to learn more about how solar pool heating works.
Pool Heater Principles
Solar pool heaters are simpler than the solar power energy cells that provide electricity to many homes in the Villages. Your existing pool pump circulates water from the pool through large collectors, which are usually mounted on the roof of your home. As the water flows through the collectors, it is naturally warmed by the sun’s energy, just like the water inside a garden hose on a sunny day.
Pool Heater Sizing
The size of the solar collectors you will need to properly heat your pool depends on several factors: the size of your pool, the length of the swimming season you want, and the climate. In North Central Florida, you can have a year-round swimming season with a properly sized solar collector. Generally, this means that the total surface area of your solar energy collectors should equal the total surface area of your pool. The larger your collector is, the longer your swimming season will be.
Pool Heater Installation and Life Span
You should have a company that is experienced with residential solar energy solutions install your solar pool heating system to ensure that the system is working in its most efficient manner so you may get the most out of your swimming experience. Also, experienced professionals will determine where to install the solar collectors by determining which areas of your home have the best sun exposure. A correctly installed solar pool heating system will provide you with warm water in your pool for up to 20 years.
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