Genius Bedroom Storage Ideas

See how you can pack more storage into your bedroom and closet and maximize organization.

View Video

Browse Backsplashes

Transform your kitchen with one of these stylish backsplash ideas.

View Slideshow

Find Your Dream Backyard

Whether you dream of sunning by a state-of-the-art pool or strolling through a simple cottage garden, there's an outdoor oasis with your name written all over it. Take this quiz to find out where you really belong.

See More

DIY Patio Ideas

Want to boost the beauty and usefulness of your outdoor spaces? Put one of these inspiring DIY patio ideas to work in your landscape.

View Slideshow

Update for $100

When it comes to DIY home projects, inexpensive does not have to equal inconsequential. For less than $100, you can create custom light fixtures, build accent walls, update your floors, or design one-of-a-kind decor. Budget home projects can make a big difference, as proven by this bunch of crafty bloggers.

View Slideshow

Add Exterior Charm

Is your home's exterior looking a little drab? These homes were too, until character-boosting updates completely transformed their dull facades. Take a cue from their makeovers and you too can refresh your exterior.

View Video

Budget Curb Appeal

Be the best home on the block for less. These budget curb appeal updates will show you how.

View Video
Popular in Home Improvement

About Solar Water Heaters

Explore solar water heaters. How are they energy efficient? How much do they cost? How much will they save in utility costs? And how do they work?

The Need
Heating water for dishwashing and bathing, not to mention laundry, is a major part of your home's energy cost. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), paying to heat water with a conventional water heater is the third-largest energy expense in your home.

The Solution
The most energy-efficient way to heat water is with the sun. More than 1.5 million homes and businesses in the United States have invested in solar water-heating systems, and surveys cited by the DOE indicate that more than 94 percent of these customers consider the systems a good investment.

The Cost
An active, flat-plate solar collector system will cost approximately $2,500-$3,500 installed and produce about 80-100 gallons of hot water per day.

Solar water-heating systems typically have two main parts: a solar collector and a storage tank. The sun heats water or a heat-transfer fluid that flows through pipes in the collector and then to a tank.

  • Direct circulation systems pump water through the collectors and then store it in a tank.
  • Indirect systems pump heat-transfer fluid through the collectors, and then transfer the heat through a heat exchanger. In colder climates, a drainback system keeps water from freezing in outdoor pipes.

Your water-heating bills should drop 50-80 percent if you install a solar water heater. And, of course, you'll be shielded from future price increases in the cost of fuel.

Consider installing a solar water heater when you get a new mortgage or refinance your home. It's a good time to make the investment without needing a lot of cash up front.

For more information, visit the DOE Web site: www.eere.energy.gov/consumer.

close
close
close
close
close

Loading... Please wait...