The Pros And Cons Of Solar Water Heaters

27 March 2015
 Categories: , Articles


You may be considering a solar powered water heater as replacement for an electric or gas powered unit. There are numerous arguments in favor and against such devices. Throughout the course of this article, you will be informed of the many pros and cons of solar powered water heaters. 


The primary reason many individuals choose to purchase and install a solar powered water heater is the fact that, in the long run, such units can save you a lot of money. Although the initial purchase and potential installation fee is, in fact, quite steep, you essentially have free energy afterwards. Energy Star estimates that solar water heaters end up cutting a home's water heating bill by 50%, a savings of thousands of dollars over the lifetime of your solar water heater. 

There is also a federally funded tax rebate program that will actually contribute to you purchasing and installing a solar powered water heater. With the tax credit, you can expect to save 30% off of the cost of installing a solar water heater. In addition, there are many local and county programs that will financially aid you in your quest for clean and free energy.

The greatest worldwide advantage of using a solar powered water heater is clearly ecological. Solar powered water heaters greatly reduce the demand that humans place on the world for fossil fuels. With a cut in demand for fossil fuels comes a cleaner, greener, more ecologically sound world. Not only can a solar powered water heating unit save you money, but it just might be the most ethical thing you can do to your home.


Although these units are generally quite reliable in areas that receive plenty of sunlight, don't expect the same results if you live in a perpetually cloudy area, an area with a high rate of precipitation, or wooded areas. Along those same lines, in the winter months, more than likely, you will have to rely on a backup source of electricity to run your water heater.

Solar powered units require large tanks in order to store their energy. This can create a litany of problems for you. First, you will have to possess an ample amount of space to store these tanks. Secondly, these units tend to generate a large amount of high heat. These units can potentially be dangerous. There have been numerous accounts of individuals accidentally burning themselves on such units. Finally, these units do require general upkeep. Although many people choose to maintain these units themselves, they generally require the touch of a professional. Professional maintenance of these units can be quite costly, so keep this in mind if you decide to not learn how to clean and maintain the tanks yourself.

Another con is that solar water heaters cannot heat water quite as hot as a gas or electric water heater. However, it can heat the water to a high enough degree where you can safely wash your dishes and comfortably take a shower. Most homes have temperature control on their water heaters ensuring the water doesn't reach scalding levels, and chances are you won't want the water heated by your solar water heater to be heated to a higher temperature than it can manage.

As you can see, there are plenty of arguments both in favor of, and against, purchasing and installing a solar powered water heater. With numerous factors to consider, only you can ultimately make the right decision; but, take into consideration what was discussed throughout the course of this article. Do the pros outweigh the cons or vice versa? Make inventory, take a few days to mull the matter over before contacting professionals for water heater installation, and you will be sure to make the right choice for your home.

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