If you have an electric hot water system for your shower, it'll be responsible for up to 1/3rd of your household's power use. Tap into the heat of the sun with a solar hot water system which is likely to be the single most effective move you can make to save power.

Solar shower systems use energy from the sun to heat water at zero cost and produce no carbon pollution. While they cost more to buy than electric or gas water heaters, a solar hot water system will pay for itself depending on your household's hot water use. The idea behind solar showers is rather simple. You can use the sun to raise the temperature of water enough to make showering comfortable and convenient.

Flat plate solar collectors are an energy efficient device for heating the water for showers. A black reflector plate at the bottom of a narrow reservoir is utilized, which is sealed behind a glass or Plexiglas cover. The heated water can be reserved in a holding tank in the same way as a whole-house solar water heater.

This type of solar water heating technology is more finely engineered to produce significantly greater temperature increases. Solar showers that are integrated into heating systems are capable of increasing cold weather water temperatures to a satisfying comfort level. Many of these units feature an integrated electric heating element to supplement the solar generated heat on days with reduced sunshine. A high-efficiency solar shower that draws its water from a flat plate collector is a safer choice, because it is likely to push temperatures over 100 degrees.

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