Are Solar Water Heaters Worth It?

Month after month of high heating bills may have you questioning your electricity usage and whether or not that old water heater of yours has outlived its usefulness. You’re not alone. Americans all over the states are opting to go solar and save on their monthly energy costs through renewable energy.

Advantages of Using Solar Power

Solar power presents several advantages to homeowners, from taking advantage of naturally occurring solar energy to save on bills to upholding their commitment to going green:

  1. Solar is a Proven Technology. The first experimental use of solar power goes back to the 1800s, using a photovoltaic silicon cell. In 1954, it was then successfully first used to convert the sun’s energy into power that can run a piece of equipment.

By 1983,  mass production of the 2.1 megawatts PV cell began for units to be distributed worldwide. There are now a total of 47.1 gigawatts installed across the United States. 

  1. Solar Works in Many Climates. Many believe that colder climates do not produce solar power. In reality, solar panels work better in colder climates than extremely warm ones, because excessive heat reduces the amount of voltage solar units can produce.

Though a lengthened exposure to sunlight certainly guarantees the generation of more energy, modern solar panels can efficiently create significant solar power even in low light.

  1. Solar is Very Affordable. Its price in 2015 dropped up to 22% and has continued to decline since. In most countries, it is much more affordable than conventional energy. Additional tax rebates and state policies help make solar power cheaper for more families and businesses.

Solar financing options, like no-down-payment leasing and home improvement loans, make it a convenient option for many homeowners. The United States government offers 30% federal income tax credit and local incentives as well.

  1.  Solar  Benefits the Whole Energy Grid. The excess solar energy can be used by conventional utilities depending on the local policies. Solar owners are given compensation for their contributions. 

In U.S. states, solar users are given credit against their electricity consumption at night, also called net billing.

  1. Solar Has a Long Lifespan. The durability of the solar panels withstands harsh weather and conditions, even hailstorms. Its average lifespan lasts up to 25-30 years with little to no maintenance. However, its output can be significantly reduced if a unit is not maintained properly.
  1. Solar Increases Home Value. Homes with solar panels installed sell for 4.1% more than those that do not, on average. 

According to a study by the U.S. Department of Energy, among 22,000 home sales, around 4,000 have an added $15,000 in value because of solar panels.

  1. Solar is Widely Accepted & Practical. Homeowners across the globe and in all walks of life are installing solar energy systems. Its mainstream progression has caused the banking world to take notice, many of which allow solar financing. 

All About Solar Water Heaters

Solar water heaters or solar domestic hot water systems are water heaters that use a solar thermal collector. It is a cheaper alternative hot water system for your home. These include a storage tank and solar panels.

There are two types of solar water heaters systems. An active water system is more expensive and has a circulating pump and controls, while a passive water system is typically less expensive and usually not as efficient as the active systems.

  • Types of Active Solar Water Systems
  1. Direct Circulation Systems. This system works well in climates that rarely freeze. It works by pumping water through the collector and into the household.
  2. Indirect Circulation Systems. This system is popular in places that are prone to freezing. It pumps a non-freezing heat transfer fluid through the collectors and the heat exchanger that heats the water and circulates it into the household.
  • Types of Passive Solar Water Systems
  1. Integral Collector-Storage Passive Systems. This type of system consists of a storage tank with a transparent cover that allows the sun to heat the water. This heated water then flows into the plumbing system. 

This type of system is suggested for locations that rarely fall below freezing temperatures and households that typically need hot water in the daytime and evening.

  1. Thermosyphon System. A system heats the water in the collector while on the roof and then pushes it to the household plumbing where a hot water faucet runs. Most systems allow a 40 gallon capacity.

If you plan to install a solar water heating system, consider the following: 

You will want to estimate its cost and energy efficiency, and check if your area has adequate solar resources. Next, identify the correct size of system you need. Lastly, check the local policies in your area.

You might also want to study the annual operating cost of the system you are eyeing and compare them to the other kinds available. Choosing the most energy-efficient system can help you identify how much you can save.

Ready to Save with Solar?

Independent Water Service has proudly been serving Yakima and Kittitas counties since 1986. We now serve as your local solar water heater provider as well and are here to help you with your solar heating needs. We provide easy to install and maintain systems that save you time and money in the short and long term with many benefits to you and your home’s value. 

For a free quote, give us a call today with any questions you may have on our solar powered heating systems. Independent Water Service’s skilled technicians are here to help and ready to save you money with solar!