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, itperformed 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.
- 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
- 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.
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.