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Solar Water Heaters

When it comes to energy efficiency through solar power, Destin, FL homes have a huge advantage.  Being in a sunny climate year round offers many more opportunities than are available in other parts of the country.  One of these opportunities is a solar water heater.

On average, a solar water heater will cut your water heating bills down by 50 – 80%.  If you’re planning on refinancing, include the price of a solar water heater in a new 30-year mortgage.  This will usually amount to between $13 and $20 per month. In addition, the federal income tax deduction for mortgage interest attributable to the solar system reduces that by about $3–$5 per month.

Now, you’re probably wondering about cost.  Not surprisingly, a solar water heater is more expensive than a conventional water heater.  However, as you just read, the savings far outweigh the additional upfront expense.  The unit itself will run just over $1,000 (depending on size, model, etc.)

If you want to estimate how much the unit will save you, you’ll need to know:  1. The system’s solar energy factor (SEF) and 2.  The auxiliary tank fuel type (gas or electric) and costs (your local utility can provide current rates).  Once you have that information, plug those numbers into the following equation:

With a gas auxiliary tank system:

You need to know the unit cost of fuel by Btu (British thermal unit) or therm. (1 therm = 100,000 Btu)

365 × 41,045/SEF × Fuel Cost (Btu) = estimated annual cost of operation


365 × 0.4105/SEF × Fuel Cost (therm) = estimated annual operating cost

Example: Assuming the SEF is 1.1 and the gas costs $1.10/therm

365 × 0.4105/1.1 × $1.10 = $149.83

With an electric auxiliary tank system:

You need to know or convert the unit cost of electricity by kilowatt-hour (kWh).

365 × 12.03/SEF × Electricity Cost (kWh)= estimated annual operating cost

Example: Assuming the SEF is 2.0 and the electricity costs $0.08/kWh

365 X 12.03/2.0 X $0.08 = $175.64


Make sure you check the Veach View Blog frequently to get more energy (and money) saving tips.  And as always, if you or anyone you know is interested in buying real estate in Destin, FL, or selling a home in Destin, FL, contact Kerry Veach online or call him directly at 1.800.879.0309.

With over 1,000 closings, 20+ years of experience and a full-time real estate team, it’s no surprise that 95% of Kerry’s business comes from referrals.




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