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Pros and cons of solar water heaters

If you are thinking of saving money by installing a device to heat water using solar light, here we are going to tell you the  Pros and cons of solar water heaters.

Pros and cons of solar water heaters

Solar water heaters seem to be less well known than solar panels, but they are becoming more and more popular. Solar water heaters are a great and sustainable way to save energy costs. We list the advantages and disadvantages for you.

What are solar water heaters?

Since not everyone is familiar with solar water heaters, we first give a brief explanation about it.

Solar power is the way to deal with energy sustainably and also save costs. The solar water heater is a good example of solar energy. Solar water heaters use solar energy to heat (domestic) water. This way is good for the environment because no natural gas is used.

What is the operation of a solar water heater?

The solar water heater installation consists of the solar water heater and the solar collector. The solar collector is placed on the roof to capture the sun’s rays. A liquid is heated here by solar energy. This liquid runs into the boiler to heat the water there. If you need hot water, it comes directly from the stall’s solar boiler. As soon as the liquid in the boiler has cooled down, it is pumped past the collector again for heating again.

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What are the advantages of solar water heaters?

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In a nutshell: the sun’s rays never run out, unlike fossil fuels. You can also use the solar water heater in winter. Fossil fuels are increasingly scarce. Natural gas is estimated to run out in 60 years, oil in 40 years, and coal in a few hundred years. The solar water heater is the perfect alternative to natural gas to heat water.

No CO2 emissions with heating

CO2 is released when fossil fuels are burned and contributes to the greenhouse effect.
No CO2 is released during the operation of the solar water heater. Over the lifetime of a solar water heater (approximately 25 years), an average family reduces CO2 emissions by up to 15 tons. This is equivalent to 150,000 kilometers by car. Therefore, this has a positive impact on the environment.

Solar water heaters easy to build into an existing system

It doesn’t matter what your current heat source is. Fuel, gas, pellets, electricity or a heat pump, the solar water heater can be connected to it.

Pros and cons of solar water heaters

friendly maintenance

You hardly have to invest in the maintenance of a solar water heater. Maintenance is only required once a year and the coolant needs to be replaced once every 5 years.


The government promotes sustainable energy. For solar boilers there is the Sustainable Energy Investment Subsidy (ISDE). The amount of the grant is 500 euros or more, depending on the annual income. Sometimes local subsidies from the municipality are also possible. If you have a business, you can also use EIA (energy investment allocation), MIA (environmental investment allocation), and VAMIL (random depreciation environmental investment).

Lower energy costs

With a solar water heater, you produce your own heat and no longer have to pay for energy from the supplier. The cost of purchasing the solar water heater generally pays for itself over 12 years (depending on many factors). After these 12 years, you will get several hundred euros a year.

High efficiency

The efficiency is even higher than that of solar panels. This can be explained by the fact that water is a good conductor. Getting hot water through solar collectors is much easier than getting electricity through solar panels. It is up to 4 times more productive!

Advantage and cons of solar water heaters  Increase in the value of your home.

If you use solar energy, your house will receive the energy label. This adds value to your home. You can benefit from this if you want to sell your house. After all, the buyer no longer needs to buy and work for the installation of a solar water heater. The value of the increase in his house is estimated at around 5,000 euros.

What are the Cons of Solar Water Heaters?

There is no replacement for the ordinary boiler

The solar water heater cannot replace the existing boiler 100%. Therefore, it is necessary to maintain the current boiler. This is especially necessary in winter, because then the solar collector captures less sun than in summer.

Pros and cons of solar water heaters: Solar collectors on your roof.

The solar collector comes naturally on your roof. It is important to check if your roof is suitable. The roof area must be at least 4 square meters, and the roof tiles must be suitable. A small distance between the solar collector and the solar water heater is ideal. Check if you have space in the attic. A solar water heater quickly has a diameter of 70 cm and is one meter long.

Pros and cons of solar water heaters

less beautiful view

Not everyone likes to have heat pipes (pipes through which water is transported) and a solar collector on the roof. A solar collector is as if on the roof like glass surfaces. But since more and more people use solar energy, it is no longer considered disturbing. Some people find something to brag about.

Purchase price

The purchase price of the solar boiler installation is between 1,500 and 4,000 euros. Of course, this investment will pay off at a profit. However, this is a long-term process. The payback period is around 12 years.


The list of disadvantages is considerably smaller than the benefits. Of course, this does not automatically mean that you should buy a solar water heater right away. The only disadvantage may outweigh all the advantages, such as the roof must be adequate. However, this is mainly the only major objection to solar water heaters.

Solar water heaters are extremely efficient and cheap on the environment and your wallet. It may take a bit of effort to install, but this will certainly pay off. And after installation, you almost don’t have to worry about it.

Here you can read a practice story about the experience with solar water heaters.

Solar Water Heater Tips

Finally, we mention some tips to get everything out of your solar water heater.

  • You get the best performance if you place the solar boiler to the south. This can also be the southeast and southwest.
  • Make sure that the solar collector forms an angle between 20 and 60 degrees.
  • Make sure that the solar collector does not catch any shade during the whole day. Perhaps a tree does not provide shade in the morning, but because of the sun’s rotation it does so in the afternoon.
  • Put a screen to see the results in a convenient place.
  • You do not need to apply for a building permit.
  • With a combination solar water heater, you can also heat your entire house in addition to the water.

I hope the concepts have been understood about Pros and cons of solar water heaters.

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