There are many reasons to consider a solar system for your home. Along with reducing local pollution from the burning of fossil fuels, solar taps into the free energy from the sun and saves you money over time. SolarWerks is proud to stand behind a product that is a win-win for your finances as well as the health of our environment. For further information about climate change, please read the Chicago Climate Change Action Plan.
A south facing roof with unobstructed sun all year from 10am to 2pm is ideal for a solar water heater (9am – 1pm or 11am – 3pm works great too). If the collectors don’t receive 4 hours of sunlight production will go down a bit. Collectors oriented due east or west only lose about 15% of their productivity however. Output levels are predictable and this is something that SolarWerks can tell you before you make the investment in a system.

Another consideration is that solar panels don’t need to go on a roof. In many areas, mounting panels to a pole can improve production levels as well as meet aesthetic goals. Most homes are excellent candidates for solar if you consider all your options.

Two reasons–cheap energy and a lack of public awareness of our effect on the environment. Both of these conditions have changed and the world is now looking for effective ways to maintain our quality of life while minimizing costs and pollution. Homes account for the largest part of most families’ budgets and happen to be one the largest sources of Greenhouse Gas emissions. Fortunately, we don’t have to wait any longer for the solution. Solar works today!
We have more summertime sun than Miami, Fl and annual sunshine equal to eastern Texas. The world leaders in solar are Germany and Japan — both have less annual solar radiation than we have here in Chicago. The bottom line is that we have enough sun in Chicago to make a solar system a viable and cost effective addition to your home.
Compared to what? Traditional energy systems will cost you a lot more than you might think. Using conservative estimates, a small solar water heater can save you $18,000 over 20 years.

Over half of the installation cost of a solar water heater will come back to you in the form of federal and Illinois incentives. With the immediate savings in natural gas costs and the protection from rising fuel prices into the future, solar is a sound financial investment.

A solar water heater works in conjunction with your existing water heater. Your current water heater serves as the backup heater in a solar system. The solar tank preheats the water entering your natural gas, electric, or tankless water heater so that it uses less fuel to heat the water to your desired temperature. In the summer, your backup heater will work less; in the winter, it will work a little more. The temperature of the water for your shower is determined by the backup heater so you are even less likely to run out of hot water once you install solar since you’ll have more hot water at your disposal.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Do you find basketball nets, satellite dishes, roof vents, or skylights to be ugly? All of these components add value to the quality of life of a homeowner but none of them return money to you in actual monthly savings as a solar system will. Home appraisers are beginning to calculate home value appreciation from solar by analyzing utility cost reductions. A professionally done installation job by SolarWerks will seamlessly integrate the solar collectors into the look of your house and enhance your property for many years to come.
This is an interesting question because it highlights a couple of confusing ideas regarding solar in the minds of many people. Radiation from the sun is converted into useful energy in our homes in two fundamentally different ways.

The first way is sunlight to heat. A solar water heater converts solar energy directly into heat which then is stored in water until you are ready to use it. This is an efficient process and the most cost effective solar application on the market. At SolarWerks, we install and service solar water heaters for residential use.

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The second way is sunlight to electricity. Solar electric or PV systems turn sunlight into electricity which then powers your lights and appliances. In some applications, these systems need batteries to store electricity harnessed in the day for use at night. In most homes these days, batteries are no longer necessary. The system can be tied into your electric utility meter to spin it backwards during the day. When you use power at night, you consume the electric credits you generated while at work during the day. This sort of system is attractive for homeowners with Real Time Pricing or Time of Use agreements with their electricity provider where they pay a much higher rate during the day than at night. SolarWerks is also a name that you can trust to implement a solid grid-tied solar PV system for your home.

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Solar water heaters and solar electric systems are both mature technologies that work great today. As with all technology, incremental improvements will occur over time, but the dramatic improvements have already occurred. Besides, solar is already affordable for most people and works great here in Chicago. Demand is growing as are fossil fuel prices. These pressures will keep solar prices rising steadily into the near future. The longer you wait to install a solar system, the longer you’ll delay saving month every month on your utility bills.