Solar Water Heaters: Which One Works Best For You

May 25, 2021

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating costs account for 42% of the average residential utility bill, more than any other kind of energy use. However, there is a solution for this that many homeowners may not consider right away, and that is installing solar water heaters. While many may not consider installing solar water heaters is a popular way to reduce the expensive utility bill you dread every single month.

Solar Water Heaters use renewable energy to reduce the need for grid power while delivering high volumes of hot water. Today, we'll be sharing information on what exactly a solar water heater is and how they can work for you in your home.

What is a Solar Water Heater?

A solar water heater is not like traditional water heaters since they do not connect to your home's grid energy. Instead, these solar water heaters use dedicated solar collectors to draw power from the sun resulting in solar energy being used to heat water for daily domestic use.

It's important to note that solar water heaters are different from solar panel systems. You do not need to have solar panels to install a solar water heater.

How Does a Solar Water Heater Work?

There are two main types of solar water heaters available for residential and commercial use: active and passive. Each of these systems is available with two different heating options.


Active solar water heater systems move the water through the collectors to gather heat; then, they send it to your faucets and showerheads.


Passive systems use the heat from the sun to directly heat stored water.

These solar water heating systems can produce enough hot water for your household's daily needs.

Which Solar Water Heater is Right For You?

So, how do you know which type of solar heater is right for you and your home's daily needs? This most likely depends on where your home is located or what your daily needs for hot water are in your household. A few examples:
  • If you live in a climate that never sees temperatures below freezing or snow, direct systems work best here. In much colder areas, indirect active methods are recommended.
  • If your family uses a considerable amount of hot water throughout the day, an integral passive system is recommended.
But ultimately, the type of solar water heater you need depends on how much sunlight your home receives, your budget, and how much heated-water you use daily.

Every property is unique and different, so we recommend speaking to a specialist at Fun in the Sun before making any decisions!

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