Three Myths About Solar Water Heaters

Posted on: 30 November 2016

Solar water heaters are devices that harness the sun's energy and use it to warm water for use in your home. They reduce your use of electricity or gas, which is beneficial for your wallet and for the planet. While more homeowners are opting for solar water heaters, some are still deterred because of myths they have heard about these appliances. Here's a look at those myths and the actual truth they are hiding.

Myth: Solar heaters only work when it's sunny outside.

Many people don't opt for a solar water heater because they fear they will only have hot water when the sun is shining. But this is not really how solar water heaters work. Most models are designed to trap and store the sun's energy, and then to use it later on to heat the water as needed. While you might have issues if there are 10 cloudy days in a row, you don't have to worry about having chilly water every night once the sun has set. Plus, most solar heaters are connected to the electric grid as a backup, so when you do hit a streak of cloudy days, you can still have hot water – albeit water heated with conventionally sourced electricity.

Myth: Solar water heaters are very costly.

Solar water heaters do cost more than conventional gas or electric heaters. However, the cost comes down when you consider the tax credits that you qualify for when you purchase one of these appliances. Through December 2016, there's a tax credit equal to 30% of the purchase price of a solar water heater. There's a good chance this tax credit will be renewed for future years, too. Your local and state government may also offer additional tax credits or deductions to make solar water heaters more affordable.

Myth: Solar water heaters are a new, untested technology and are probably prone to malfunction.

The idea that solar water heaters are a new invention and are thus likely to have flaws and bugs that still need to be worked out turns off many homeowners. But actually, solar water heaters have a very long history. In the 1940s, there were about 60,000 solar water heaters in Florida. Throughout the 1950s and 1970s, the high price of fuel drove American industries to further develop alternative energy sources, like solar powered devices. Another boom of invention came after the financial crisis of 2008. Today's solar water heaters are the result of many years' work. There are many reputable brands and models, and your plumber can help you find one that's right for your home.

For more information, contact local professionals like Alexander's Plumbing And Pumps.