Is Solar Water Heating Worth It?

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For a homeowner, solar water heating often produces better returns than photovoltaics. Depending on a circumstances specific to you, solar hot water heating can be a great investment. Before you install solar hot water, consider the following factors: 

  • solar resource: the amount of sunlight reaching your solar collectors impacts the efficiency of your solar thermal system. Learn about solar radiation in your region.
  • climate: a cooler climate may require an active heating system, whereas a passive system could suffice in warmer climates.
  • local building codes and regulations

What direction should the solar heating system face?

Ideally, solar thermal collectors should face south to maximize the amount of solar radiation reaching the collectors. If your roof faces another direction, an extra frame can be installed to angle the collector toward the south.

solar-hot-water-collectors

Photo Credit: Arizona Solar Hot Water

Can water heaters be placed in the shade?

Avoid mounting solar collectors in areas that are shaded by trees, electrical cables, buildings, chimneys, vents or any other source. Shading in an area can change with the sun’s path, from summer to winter. An installation professional can estimate the shading your system will receive.

If installing a solar water heater seems like a viable option, why not also estimate the annual cost of solar hot water heating for your home.

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