Solar water heating panel and water collector on a house roof.

Are Solar Water Heaters Worth It?

Are you sick of spending an exorbitant amount of money for hot water each month? Do you want to cut back on the energy you’re using? Well, it might be time for you to rethink how you heat your home’s water! Use this guide to help determine the best way for you to get hot water throughout the house.

How Does a Solar Water Heater Work?

There are two types of solar water heaters: Active and Passive systems. But what are the differences between the two?

Active Solar Water Heaters

These are typically found in colder climates where water is stored indoors. Here, a pump pushes the hot water from solar collectors throughout your home. Direct active systems see the water heated up directly from the solar collectors while indirect systems heat up a fluid that transfers said heat to the water and sends it throughout the house.

Passive Solar Water Heaters

These systems are usually cheaper than their active counterparts. This is because they do not use a pump to circulate water, rather they rely on natural circulation of water (hot water rises, cold water sinks). The systems will either collect water in a large tank and allow sunlight through to heat the water, or they will use metal plates to warm up the water in batches.

Hybrid Water Heating

A hybrid water heater uses a combination of a standard water heater and solar heat pumps to heat your water throughout your home. The system takes heat from outside and uses an evaporator coil converter, containing a refrigerant, to heat your home’s water.

Why Aren’t Solar Water Heaters Worth It?

Why shouldn’t you get a solar water heater? Some things that may deter you from the system would include the installation cost. Some calculations have the upfront costs of installing at over $9,000!

You will also need a different solar unit to power the rest of your home. This can be seen as a con because you will need to install a completely different system if you want to be more energy efficient throughout the rest of your home.

We, at The Solar Professionals, don’t recommend solar hot water heaters any longer. Once an interesting option 10+ years ago, they have proven to have a high maintenance cost over their lifetime reducing the appeal to their benefits.

So, What Should You Do?

So, what should you do? You may be thinking about an on-demand water heater as an alternative. Unfortunately, these are not feasible as they too have high upfront costs, while also taking longer to deliver hot water, offer inconsistent temperatures, and do not provide hot water when your power goes out.

We recommend going with a hybrid electric hot water heater! These units use 75% less electricity than a typical water heater and have saved families $400+ every year. Make the switch to hybrid today! At the Solar Professionals, we are happy to help with all of your solar needs!

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