Pros and cons of solar water heaters

| by Heather Ferrier Laminack
Pros and cons of solar water heaters

I can testify first hand to the benefit of solar water heating, as I have built and lived in a home that incorporated the technology. In my sunny climate here in Texas, itsolar hot water heaterperformed outstanding and I would definitely recommend it. Like many high-performance products, it does require a bit more investment upfront, but you reap the savings over the lifetime of the unit.

Pros

  • Use the free energy of the sun to heat your water
  • Lower monthly electric (or gas) utility bills
  • Great for climates that receive a lot of sunshine
  • Federal tax credits help lower upfront cost, and there are often local incentives that also help offset part of the initial investment

Cons

  • Tank takes up more space than tankless units, but comparable to (or slightly larger than) "normal" tank type units
  • Higher up front cost for equipment & installation
  • May not have as great of performance in climates that do not receive a lot of sunshine
  • Tank can produce a significant amount of heat, so its location will need to be planned accordingly
  • More equipment = more maintenance

If you're considering incorporating solar water heating in your project, I would highly suggest working with a qualified installer. Besides bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table, they can often provide references from previous clients, which will give the ability to hear first-hand the feedback from others in your area.


Topics: Rebates / Tax Credits, Water Heaters



Heather Ferrier Laminack
Representing the fourth generation of the Ferrier Companies, Heather Ferrier Laminack functions as the marketing manager for Texas-based green home builder Ferrier Custom Homes, utilizing her passion for sustainable building practices and her first-hand experience of green building techniques. View Heather Ferrier Laminack's profile on LinkedIn

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