The Benefits of Installing a Solar Water Heater

Written by Sabrina Ashley
Updated September 9, 2016
A solar water and air heating system
This home solar system heats water and air. (Photo by Jay Madden)

A solar water heating system can save money and add value to your home.

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Solar water heaters are a popular choice for homeowners who wish to reduce their carbon footprints and save money on utility bills. As technology improves, the energy-efficient systems are becoming more common in homes across the country.

What is a solar water heater?

The sun's energy generates power that can be converted to electricity. Just as people put solar panels on the roof of their home, a solar water system captures the sun's power and stores it for use in a collector.

Most systems are installed on the roof, but if your roof is not strong enough, you can use a ground-mounted system in an unshaded area near your home.

Installing solar panels on the roof can capture the sun's power to use to run water heaters. (Photo courtesy of Jay Madden)

The benefits of solar water heaters

Here's a look at the top reasons to heat water via solar:

1. Smaller carbon footprintAlthough many homes use electricity for their water heating system, other systems use oil or natural gas. By installing a solar system, you reduce your dependency on natural resources and limit your carbon footprint.2. Financial incentivesThe federal government may offer tax credits to homeowners installing solar water heaters. Many city and state governments also offer tax credits, rebates and other incentives. All of these incentives help to lower the initial cost of solar water heaters.

3. Lower energy bills

Homeowners with solar hot water heating systems can save a considerable amount money on their monthly gas and electric bills.4. Added value

As the use of renewable energy continues to grow, the value of your home may increase as well, as more buyers seek out energy-efficient houses. A higher perceived value translates to a higher asking price when you are ready to sell your home.

Solar hot water heaters are a great way to be mindful of both the environment and your savings account. The design of your house, the structure of the roof, the climate you live in and other variables all play a role in determining if solar-powered heating is a good choice for you.

Editor's note: This is an updated version of an article originally posted on September 18, 2012.

Have you purchased a solar panel system for your home or business? Tell us about it in the comments section below.

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