If you've been shopping for a new water heater, you've likely noticed the relatively new solar-powered heaters on the market. While such heaters are more expensive initially than a traditional water tank, they can save a significant amount of energy and money in the long run. However, saving energy (and energy dollars) isn't the only advantage to a solar water heater.
Benefits of choosing a solar-powered water heating system
1. Energy-savings. When you are able to harness the sun's power for free to help operate your water heater, you'll naturally save on your electricity or natural gas usage as well as on your utility bills. While different factors affect how much you can save, a solar water heating system averages a 50-80% drop in water heating costs. That's pretty dramatic.
2. Tax credits. If you buy a qualifying solar water heater and have it installed in your primary or secondary residence by December 31, 2016, you will be eligible for a U.S. federal tax credit of up to 30 percent of the cost of the appliance and the installation. This credit is automatically added to your refund or deducted from the amount you owe when you file your tax return. In addition to the federal program, many energy companies, states and municipalities offer rebates or tax credits to homeowners who make the switch to a solar system.
3. No CO2 emissions. With a solar-powered water heater, there are no combustion gases, like CO2, generated in heating the water or in making the electricity or natural gas to power the heater. This is not only safer for your family, but kinder to the environment.
4. Durability. Solar water heating systems generally last much longer than traditional water tank systems. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average solar water heating system will last around 20 years.
5. Low maintenance. A solar water heater requires very little maintenance. Since there is no combustion used to heat the water, there isn't so great a chance of sediment collecting in the bottom of the unit and thus, a solar tank doesn't need to be drained regularly like a traditional tank does.
While a solar water heater isn't the right choice for every family, this type of heater not only reduces your energy bills and your dependence on your area's energy grid, but can save you on taxes and reduce your family's carbon footprint. If you're thinking about a solar water heater, talk with a plumber like Trenchless Pipe Technologies to see what steps are necessary for you home.