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The Great Debate - Electric Water Heater Vs. Solar Water Heater

Electric Water Heater vs Solar Water Heater
Everything in this world has its own pros and cons, so does an electric water heater and solar water heater. This piece is a debate about an electric water heater vs solar water heater. Keep reading to find more about both of them.
Divya Bichu
Last Updated: Mar 26, 2018
The domestic uses of hot or warm water can be listed as, being used for bathing, cooking, cleaning, and so on. Provision of a constant supply of hot water is usually done through devices called water heaters, boilers or geysers. These water heaters are run on either electricity or gas. We tend to forget that the fossil fuels and the electricity used in this respect are all nonrenewable sources of energy. They are bound to get exhausted one day. Solar energy is the ultimate and non exhaustible source of energy we have. To make complete use of this ultimate source, where it is possible, makes sense and is only fair. Some may still argue that electric water heaters are convenient and easy to use. As said earlier, everything has its own advantages and disadvantages. You have to decide what works in your favor and is best suited for you. If you are planning to replace your water heater or just going in for a new one, and there is a tussle in your mind about an electric water heater vs solar water heater, do not worry. This article on HomeQuicks will give you, an unbiased perspective of which is better.
Electric Water Heater
Electric Water Heater
Electric water heaters have been used since a very long time, and it is a luxury to use them, as they supply you with hot water at any time of the day. They are best suited for your comfort and requirements with respect to hot water. Listed below are a few advantages and disadvantages of electric water heaters.
  • Instant water supply at anytime, even during cold weather.
  • Rightly sized, hence easy mounting anywhere is allowed, be it the bathroom, above the sink, or wherever you want it to be installed.
  • The major attraction is its cost. An electric heater costs you as little as $400, which is why many prefer it in the first place as compared to solar water heaters.
  • Since it is normally installed inside the house, it is less prone to corrosion or other natural damaging events like the rain, snow, etc.
  • Absolutely convenient and easy to use hot water at your service, with just a twist of the faucet.
  • Most of them have a temperature control knob or dial that helps prevent scalding, and you can also enjoy the variation in the levels of warm water.
  • The major concern is its impact on fossil fuels. Electric heaters are major contributors to the depletion of fossil fuels.
  • There is a possibility of short-circuit with the cables and cords involved, which can be dangerous for the user.
  • Along with the initial cost, one has to bear the monthly heating cost too. You would be amazed to know that electric water heaters are the reason for 25% of the utility bills in most houses, according to the US Department of Energy.
  • The lifespan of these electric heaters is restricted to 15 years. Very rarely do they work at their best after 15 years.
Solar Water Heater
Solar Water Heater
The use of solar water heaters are gaining popularity. In fact, in some states, the use of these is being made mandatory. Hawaii is the first state to make solar water heaters compulsory in new homes.
  • Solar water heaters are cost-effective and switching to them will reduce your utility costs.
  • Using the solar power to heat water instead of fossil fuels or electricity, releases less pollutants and proves to be eco-friendly.
  • To encourage the use of solar water heaters, homeowners in US are offered tax credits up to 30 percent of the installation cost.
  • The initial cost is the only cost the owner has to bear. Later the solar energy it runs on, is absolutely free of cost.
  • The durability of these solar panels are such that you can depend on it for 20-30 years easily.
  • Most solar heaters are roof mounted and installation is a tedious job.
  • Since they are roof mounted, they are exposed to natural damaging events like rain, snow, etc., and are also prone to corrosion in case of humid weather.
  • The initial cost is huge. It costs somewhere around $2500 - $3000.
Disclaimer: Please note that the prices mentioned above may vary according to location and offers available.
If I were to favor one of them, it would definitely be the solar water heater. I have one installed in my house and it works perfectly. I feel proud for having done my bit to save energy and now it's your turn!