Discover The Pros and Cons of Solar Water Heaters Before You Buy – 2024 Guide

Solar water heaters are considered an environmentally friendly option, of course, they are also potentially a cost-saving device. But, with so much technology now available and most homeowners having limited resources available, how do you decide which technology you should be investing in?

The answer is to take the time to evaluate the various technologies and decide which are the best solutions for you, your home, and your wallet.

How the Solar Water Heater Works

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If you’ve ever left anything lying in direct sunlight you’ll appreciate that the material attracts the sun’s rays and warms up. Solar water heaters work on the same basic principle.

The solar heater is an element, not dissimilar to a solar panel. It collects the rays emitted by the sun and uses the heat to warm fluid moving through the collector. It is supplemented with a heat exchange unit that is actually powered by the sun, via traditional solar energy.

This allows the water to be heated to any temperature you like. It is then transferred to an insulated water tank, these are similar to your traditional water tank. The hot water stays in there, being constantly kept warm by the heat of the sun. You can turn on a tap in the house and you’ll get hot water when you need it.
Because the tank is so well insulated the water will stay hot overnight, even when there is no sun.

Lets’ take a look at the pros and cons of solar water heaters:


There are a number of attractive advantages to make installing a solar water heater a worthwhile consideration.

Energy & Cost Saving

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The most obvious benefit is to the environment. Solar water heaters use the power of the sun to heat water. The water is then available in your home. That means there is no cost to you after the initial setup. Traditional systems require electricity, gas, or oil to heat the water, which uses fossil fuels and costs you money on your energy bill.

The solar water heater will effectively reduce your hot water heating bill to zero. Of course, you’ll need to pay for the solar water heater which means the real savings will take a few years to kick in.

But, your energy bills will go down instantly, helping you to feel like you’re saving money.

Minimal Maintenance

Perhaps one of the most attractive advantages of the solar water heating system is that there is minimal maintenance to do. In fact, there are very few moving parts. A heat collector is a static unit, simply doing its job, and will easily last 10-15 years unless it is damaged.

The tanks are well built and heavily insulated, ensuring it also lasts for years. The only maintenance that is required is to check the pump and the heat exchange unit. This requires minimal effort and cost.

Environmental Benefit

The environmental benefit is unsurprisingly huge. Because the solar water heater relies on solar power there is no need to burn fossil fuels in order to heat your water. In short, no harmful emissions are being produced.

But, it’s more than just the obvious! The solar water heater improves air quality because it is helping to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. It can also protect the quality of your water. The UV rays in the sun are very effective at killing bacteria. These can be harnessed while heating the water to ensure any bacteria are destroyed, helping to ensure your water is safe to use.

Boost Your Home Value

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Fitting new technological solutions and embracing environmentally beneficial techniques is known to help increase the value of your home. This is partly because of the increased awareness of the environment. But, it’s also because the cost savings associated with this type of tech can be passed on. That makes your home more attractive to buyers and effectively increases its value!


Of course, no system is perfect and it is worth understanding the disadvantages before you invest.

Cost of Installation

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Almost anyone can install a traditional water system. However, installing a solar hot water system is a more difficult process. You’re going to need a professional to help you get the system in place and working properly. It’s best to contact a reputable specialist in hot water systems like to ensure you get the best advice and the system is fitted in the best place.
Of course, the additional advice and expertise do cost, as does the solar water heater. This makes the solar water heater a more expensive option to purchase and install than a traditional one.
But, you need to remember that the cost of installation can be covered by the savings on your energy bill, it may take a few years.

Needs Plenty Of Sun

One of the biggest issues with a solar hot water system is that you need a good level of sunlight. The hotter the sun the better it is at heating the water. The more sun you have the longer it has to heat the water.

If you have plenty of sunlight the water heater works very well. But, if you don’t have enough sunlight you may find that you only have lukewarm water. That’s not worth the cost of investing.
You should speak to the professionals regarding how effective a solar water heater will be in your area.

Heats Water Only

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Finally, you should note that the water heater only heats the hot water. This may reduce the savings you can make if your hot water and heating are currently on the same system.

Final Thoughts

Changing your traditional water heater to a solar water heater is worth considering. But, you need to assess the success of your project first and whether you will benefit financially or not. While helping the environment is a noble goal, you still need to think with your wallet first.

Take your time and speak to the professionals to ensure you make the right decision and choose the right solar water heater.