Solar powered water heaters are a great way to cut down on your carbon footprint, and provide an environmentally friendly way to live your life, without changing any major day to day activities. Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of solar powered water heaters can help you decide whether or not one is the best fit for your home.
The Advantages of a Solar Powered Water Heater
The most readily apparent benefit of installing a solar powered water heater is the fact that you will not be using any non-renewable resources to heat your water. As the sun is a constant, you will never have to worry about your effect on the environment by using your hot water. Additionally, your energy costs will fall, as besides the initial costs of the solar panels and water heater, the sun provides energy for free. In areas with enough sun all year around, solar powered water heaters may be the most cost effective method of heating your water available.
Another important aspect of installing a solar powered water heater is the fact that most governments offer some sort of tax benefit to people who install them, which can help offset the cost of installation. Furthermore, solar powered water heaters do not require expensive or constant maintenance, which can save you even more money.
The Disadvantages of a Solar Powered Water Heater
The major disadvantage that comes with installing a solar powered water heater is the high upfront cost. Solar powered water heaters can cost several times more than a traditional water heater, which means that they are less viable for those operating under a budget.
Additionally, it should be taken into account that even advanced solar powered water heaters are not as effective as gas or electric powered water heaters. A few hours of sunlight may be needed to provide the level of hot water that you require, and you may not have enough hot water available in the morning for you to shower, which can be a problem if you start work early.
Another factor that you have to take into account is the climate that you live in. In areas that do not receive constant sunlight all year round, gas or some other form of power may have to be installed as a backup for overcast days or for winter months. This means that for people who live in northern areas, solar powered water heaters are simply not viable.
For more information about water heater options, visit a company like Brother's Plumbing.