Solar You Can Use

I was thinking this morning (words that send shudders down my co-workers spines and often trigger epileptic fits in bosses)…

One of the talk show hosts I was listening to this morning made a comment to the effect that “energy saving appliances and renewable energy sources will not enter widespread use until they’re economically viable.” Simple statement, but my experience says that he’s dead wrong.

Your see, in the last home I owned (I live in Massachusetts, the archetypal blue state) came equipped with a solar hot water heater that preheated both the water for the home and the water for the heating circulator. During the summer, I rarely had to turn on the boiler to get hot water for showers, and in the winter, the system cut my fuel bills to the point that I probably used around 3 tanks of oil per season. I have no baseline, but I’ve got to think the savings were substantial.

It was a virtually fool-proof system. A small pump circulated a closed loop of fluid through the panels on the south facing roof over the garage, which then circulated through a large plastic holding tank where the heat was exchanged. Then that water was used for domestic hot water, or preheated the water for the heating system. In the time I owned the house, 5 years, I only had the installers out once, and that was because I had no idea what kind of maintenance it needed when I bought the house and called them. They took a look at it, told me not to worry, only call us if it stops heating, and left.

My point is this: most houses come equipped with roofs. If we truly want to cut down on the oil we use, why don’t we similar systems on more houses? I’m looking into having one installed at “Casa Grande.” More soon…