Can solar powered products increase the value of your home? Can you do this yourself? The answer to the first question in a resounding yes. The answer to the second question depends on your skills.
Let’s take a look at both questions. Hopefully, you will be able to answer whether you can make these improvements yourself or call in a pro to do the job.
One of the easier solar home improvements to make is the installation of a solar hot water heater. A solar hot water heater, besides being friendly to the environment, can save you up to 50% on your water heating costs. It is easy for the do it yourselfer to install, usually taking no more than a weekend of time.
Even though a solar hot water heater will not replace your existing system, it will supplement and extend the life of your conventional hot water heater. Solar hot water heaters are very low maintenance. They have extremely low operational costs. Best of all, a solar hot water heater qualifies for Federal tax credits.
A solar hot water heater is a very simple operating system. A built in timer circulates water when there is enough solar energy to heat the water. The water is then used as needed. The heated water is stored in your conventional hot water tank.
Two notes of caution before we begin on an overview of installation. Do not take this article as a complete installation guide. It is only an overview.
Visit the websites listed at the end of this article for in depth installation instructions. Also, if you are unsure of working on a roof and lack the proper safety equipment, hire a professional.
Your first consideration for installation is where you are going to place the roof top panels. The most important considerations are:
- Distance from your water heater. The shorter the better.
- Roof direction. Will you be making maximum use of the sun?
- Roof size. Will your roof be big enough to accommodate the installation?
- Roof pitch. Can you safely work at the angle of the roof?
The first step is to unroll the solar collectors on the roof. If using more than one, connect them with the hardware provided. Secure the panels to the roof using the hardware provided by the manufacturer.
You will then need to plan for your tubing run. Make a hole in the roof where you want the tubing to come out of. Remember, with most systems, you will also have a sensor wire exiting this hole.
Run the tubing and the wire to your hot water tank location making sure you keep proper pitch on the tubing as recommended by the manufacturer.
Now you need to shut down your water tank. If unsure how to do this properly, consult a professional. You will need to shut down the main water supply, the electric or gas depending on what kind of hot water tank you have. Drain the tank using proper procedures.
You now need to install the tank adaptor using the manufacturer’s instructions. This is usually done at the drain connection. Make sure you clean the fittings thoroughly and use Teflon tape on threads to eliminate leaks.
Now mount the drainback tank to the wall. Make sure the tank is secure. The circulation module will also be mounted in this area. Finish tubing and connection installation as recommended by manufacturer.
Remember, this article is only a quick overview. More complete instructions can be found on various manufacturers’ websites. If needed consult a professional.
Not only are there solar water heaters. There are also many other solar products you can install yourself to make your home more green and to also increase the resale value.
You can add solar panels for your electric needs. Solar power can also power your electric gate, garage door opener, pool heater even your outdoor fountain or birdbath. There are also tax advantages available.