Thermal storage systems can reduce the energy costs of a home by up to 60% - if properly
installed. Such systems are generally quite low-maintenance once they have been set up. The technology itself is also environmentally friendly, as it reduces the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere. Many countries offer government subsidies that can help to defray the initial cost of installation. Finally, thermal storage systems have the advantage of providing hot water during the any power outages that plague cold, Northern climates.
Drawbacks and Caveats
The installation costs of a thermal storage system can be rather high for some. As such, it can take some years to recoup the initial investment in energy savings. The efficiency of thermal storage systems can be greatly reduced in cold or cloudy environments due to reduced sunlight. Because of this, a typical thermal solar collector unit is often used in tandem with a conventional hot water tank. A home's location is an important consideration, since the solar collector works most efficiently when mounted on roofs with exposure to the south or to the south-west.
Home-owners need to weigh the initial installation costs against the potential energy savings when considering solar thermal storage as a replacement for conventional energy sources. It's important that you perform a detailed cost analysis of all aspects of thermal storage before committing. If you plan on owning your home for the foreseeable future, it's an option that can reap substantial benefits over time. Even if you plan on selling your home a few years down the road, investing in a thermal storage system in combination with solar water heating, it can increase the value of your house. As such, it's a fairly wise investment.