This month we feature Clean Currents solar thermal customers the Baremore family of Silver Spring, MD. They decided to install a solar thermal system on their home about a year ago. Now they share their experience with us.
What is something, beyond being a Clean Currents solar thermal customer, that you do in an effort to live a greener life?
We’re always looking for ways to reduce our environmental impact. Some of the things we do include:
- Ride bikes, walk or take mass transit instead of driving
- Drive a hybrid car and carpool whenever possible
- Sign up for Clean Currents wind power!
- Turn the thermostat up a couple of degrees in the summer to reduce cooling and down a couple of degrees in the winter to reduce heating
- Eat a lot of vegetables
Where did you first hear about Clean Currents’ solar water heating solutions?
I had a talk with Charles Segerman (Clean Currents’ CEO) about the new program at Bike to Work Day in 2011 and I was intrigued. We received the installation in February, 2012.
Why did you choose to have a solar water heating system installed on your home?
I really like the idea of using the sun to heat our water. For as advanced as our solar thermal system is in an engineering sense, it’s still really simple: capture the sun’s energy to heat water. No CO2 emissions and the energy transfer from the sun to the panels happens at home, not somewhere else. Interestingly, Mae’s mother had a simple solar thermal system in her Florida childhood home in the 1940′s.
What would you say to someone who is interested in owning solar thermal panels?
Go for it. It’s like a science experiment on your roof that does its work very quietly and efficiently. We built a solar oven with the kids a few years ago and got the cooking compartment up to about 200 degrees Fahrenheit — we cooked eggs. We’ve essentially just graduated from that to this.
I find it very satisfying on a hot summer day to look at the temperature of the glycol coming into the hot water heater from the roof. On sunny days, the temperature can reach 180 degrees. We did not heat any water with natural gas during most of the month of July.
I know this because I turned off the hot water when we went out of town for the 4th and forgot to turn it back up when we returned. We did not discover that until late July when we had several consecutive cloudy days and our tap water began to cool off.
It’s also very reasonable in terms of overall cost with the available tax credits. I’m happy to be using new technology — or reviving old technology – in my home.
Interested? Learn more about Clean Currents’ Solar Thermal program here.