What does hot water cost us?

We all know that heating hot water for either domestic use, heating systems, or heating a swimming pool can be very expensive using electricity or gas.

However, with 300 days a year of sunshine in the Algarve, it makes perfect sense to use solar heating as your primary heat source, giving you free hot water for the vast majority of the year.

Replacing dated heating systems with solar, thermodynamic or heat pump systems will, of course, save you money and can have a payback time of as little as 2-3 years.

In a normal environment, domestic hot water usage is around 40 litres per person a day, whereas in a rented villa or apartment this can double.

For example, on holiday you will have two or three showers a day, while at home you would only have one.

It is situations like these that will increase the cost and worry when renting your property.

Even if you do not rent, you will most likely have friends or family stay, increasing your costs. Installing a solar system can take away the worry of an expensive bill and increase profits on the rental income.

One thing that makes sense for most homeowners is solar-powered swimming pool heating. By increasing the temperature of the pool water in April, May, June, September and October, the property will be far more attractive and will extend the rental potential.

Also, a heated pool in these months can be added to the price of rent, making the initial investment payback time shorter.

Even if the property is not rented, keeping the pool at a comfortable temperature will mean it can still be used in the cooler months.

Speaking of the cooler months, winter in the Algarve can become quite cold and in most older houses there is no allowance for heating.

By installing modern central heating systems like underfloor water-based heating in these older houses, you will help combat the very high levels of humidity experienced in the Algarve.

We are also extremely aware that it is everyone’s responsibility to maximise the usage of our natural resources such as the sun, with the danger of fossil fuels becoming less accessible and more expensive.

By Dave Armstrong
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Dave Armstrong is a partner of Sustainable Superstore and founder/owner of Solartec hot water solutions.

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