How Much Does a Solar Water Heater Cost?

How Much Does a Solar Water Heater Cost?

Solar water heaters are often looked at with scepticism because solar energy is expensive initially. However, solar heaters are efficient, environmentally friendly, and cost-effective.

Therefore, every homeowner that can implement their own form of solar energy should do so immediately!

The price of your solar water heater will vary depending on cost, seller, and several other factors. Typically, homeowners should be looking to invest upwards of $5,000 if they are interested in pursuing solar heaters.

The government offers many benefits and incentives, like tax credits that encourage homeowners to go solar. However, many people are still sceptical about the high upfront cost.

Therefore, it is important to consider the long-term benefits before discounting this solar water heater cost!

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Table of Contents Show

What Solar Water Heaters Cost

There are several types of active solar water heaters, and each varies in cost. Before rebates, the average solar water heater from purchase to installation can cost roughly ,000.

This includes the storage tank, solar collector, heat storage area, exchanger, and more.

After rebates and your residential investment tax credit (ITC), you will only be spending an estimated $6,000 total when investing in a solar water heater. This might sound like a lot, but this is nothing compared to what you will be saving by installing solar water heaters in your house!

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What Active Water Heater Costs

Active solar water heaters cost an average of around $3000, although they can vary in price depending on the type. This common type of water heating system is the most popular type of solar water heating system.

Active systems use pumps to circulate warm water from the solar collectors, where they are heated, to the water storage tanks, where they wait to be used.

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There are two kinds of active solar water heater systems: indirect and direct solar water heating systems.

Antifreeze moves through the collector in an indirect system before returning to the water tank to warm the water via a heat exchanger.

A direct system moves the water itself through the collector to heat it.

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The only difference between these two solar water heaters is their ability to withstand the cold. A direct circulation system should be used in warm climates, whereas indirect active systems are great for places that experience cold temperatures!

These active systems use solar collectors to capture solar radiation and pre-heat water before use. Active solar water heaters are often used in areas below freezing because of their yearly efficiency, unlike passive systems, which have poor energy efficiency and cannot retain heat for long durations.

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Cost of a Direct Solar Water Heater vs Indirect Solar Water Heater

Both indirect and direct solar water heaters cost roughly $4,000. There is no real difference in the indirect versus direct active solar water heater cost.

However, if you install the wrong passive water heater in the wrong weather conditions, you could encounter an expensive catastrophe.

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Cost of a Passive Solar Water Heater

Passive solar water heaters can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000, making them a more expensive solar heating system. Passive systems are a more common type of solar heater because they are cheaper than active solar water heaters.

The installation of passive systems is simple. Passive solar water heaters work when they receive direct sunlight.

That is why passive solar water systems are not common in cloudy or rainy places. This is because a passive solar system struggles to maintain a hot temperature for a long time.

So, if you experience cloudiness for multiple days, you might run out of hot water very quickly. Furthermore, you lose the ability to heat water if you do not have solar power.

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Integral Collector Storage Passive Systems

Passive systems come in numerous forms, like the integral collector storage (ICS), which is roughly $3,000 for a unit. Integral collector storage systems act as a pre-heater for the water in your conventional water heater.

Investing in a passive system like an integral collector storage system can be iffy for some people because you are still using your traditional water heater.

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Thermosyphon Systems

Another passive system includes the thermosyphon system, which is less expensive, around $1,000 to $3,000. Thermosyphon solar water heating systems use natural convection to exchange heat and circulate water without using a mechanical pump.

These systems can be problematic because of their heavy storage tank, which can lead to roof difficulties. Your water heating bills might be lower, and if your storage tank is not properly situated on your roof, then you may experience roof damage.

After installation, these are generally more expensive than integral collector storage systems because thermosyphon systems require more storage tank support.

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How Much Do Solar Collectors Cost?

Solar collectors are a vital part of the solar water heating process, and they come in a range of prices. Without these innovative devices, there would be nothing to capture the sun’s heat and convert it into usable, thermal energy.

So, if the brand you want costs $50 per solar panel, you may not have a choice but to spend that amount -as long as you have the roof space!

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Flat Plate Solar Thermal Collector

Ranging around $200 to $500 each, flat plate collectors are the most affordable solar thermal collector on the market. Furthermore, flat plate collectors are arguably the most recognizable solar collector for powering a solar energy system.

These strange solar thermal collecting systems are flat blocks with a glazed surface and insulated covering to reduce heat loss. Flat plate collectors attract sunlight using their shiny black absorber plates and use heating fluid tubes to transfer the heat from the collector to the water storage system.

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Evacuated Tube Collectors

This solar collector typically costs between $1,000 and $2,500 per evacuated tube collector. Each glass and copper collector tube holds roughly 60 gallons of heated water (depending on size).

You will get a return on your money within three years.

Evacuated tube collectors are often referred to as the most efficient energy collector because of their excellent insulation. In addition, there is little heat loss with evacuated tube collectors, which means cold weather is not a major impact on evacuated tubes.

The only time weather is a factor for evacuated tubes involves hail or harsh wind with debris.

These solar collectors are fantastic are collecting sunlight. However, they struggle to collect solar energy during the winter months.

It also makes this an unnecessarily expensive choice for rainy and cloudy places.

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Thermodynamic Panels

The average price of a thermodynamic panel can vary anywhere from $300 all the way to $2,000, depending on where you get your panel from!

These panels are not very popular since they are more recently developed; however, they are becoming more popular because of their innovative design and low price-point.

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Solar Pool Heater

Solar pool heaters cost somewhere between $3,000 and $4,000 depending on the type. It is also important to consider the installation location of your solar pool heater and how much equipment will be needed to filter to this location.

Typically, you will see payback for your pool heater solar system within 5 years!

These are a unique type of thermal collector which heats your swimming pool and makes it perfect for swimming in any season or time of day, even!

This solar pool collector heating system is placed outside the pool, collecting sunlight throughout the day. A manual valve filters cold water into the collectors at night and alternates which water is heated and cooled.

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Parabolic Trough

Parabolic troughs typically cost around $5,000 each. They are usually used in commercial buildings like hospitals, schools, and prisons because of their high thermal retention.

Parabolic troughs are semi-circular and look like large, concave mirrors. They are sedimentary and reflect sunlight into their fluid-filled receiver tubes.

These collectors require direct sunlight to heat water.

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How Much Does Installation of a Solar Hot Water Heater Cost?

The price of your new solar water heater system will vary. However, solar hot water systems will typically cost no more than a few hundred dollars for labour no matter what type of solar water heating unit you choose to install.

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Average Installation Cost of Solar Water Heaters

A solar contractor typically charges $50 to $70 for solar water heater installation. You should install your solar heating system within three hours.

Then, for less than $300, your solar water heater will be ready!

Many homeowners try to install solar water heaters themselves and regret it when they fail to make their solar water heaters work. Unfortunately, this can cost more in the future if you damage your collectors, which makes heating water impossible.

Using solar water heater pros for your solar water heater installation guarantees your heating system is installed the first time correctly!

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How Much Money do You Save With Solar Hot Water Heaters?

Every year, you can get up to 80% energy savings by using solar power water heaters. Then again, the amount of money you save on your solar water heater will vary from household to household.

Savings will depend on various factors like the amount of hot water you use per month and the type of solar water heater installed.

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Average Savings with a Solar Hot Water Heating System

On average, your bill should drop roughly 50% – 80% after installing a solar water heater. This is an average water heat energy savings of $50 per month.

That can amount to $600 per year in water heat savings a year.

In the end, this savings is less than you will be paying for your whole solar water heating bill!

You will also receive a 30% back in tax credits. This is your planet’s way of saying thank you for going eco-friendly and reducing your carbon emissions!

The average cost of installation after rebates and tax deductibles is roughly $6,000. That means within ten years; you should have your water heater paying itself back!

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Average Maintenance Cost of Solar Hot Water Heaters

Typically, solar water heater systems do not need as much maintenance as traditional water heaters do. This is because solar water heaters tend to be more durable than conventional water heaters like gas heaters.

Some solar water heaters, like evacuated tube collectors, are fragile and will require additional maintenance under extreme weather conditions, which can be costly. Therefore, purchasing a solar water heater that can withstand your weather conditions is important.

Weather conditions do not only apply to how sunny your local area is. This also applies to the type of rainfall you get, how windy it becomes during storms, and whether wind upheaves debris. You should also consider the average size of hail in your region too.

Solar collectors are built to be durable. However, these important considerations are included as a reminder that unpredictable weather can be costly.

Comparing Costs of Heating Water

Your energy bills will get sliced in half after changing from conventional heating methods like gas or electricity! Solar energy is known to reduce 80% of homeowners’ energy costs compared to conventional heating methods.

Installing solar heaters can make your home more reliable, too. Power outages and gas shortages can leave you without heat for days.

With solar energy, your solar water heater only needs the sun’s thermal energy to heat water!

Solar water heaters are a far more dependable, energy-efficient system than traditional heaters. Furthermore, most solar water heaters function as a backup heater in times of emergency, so you have an active supply of water.

In times of distress, electric or gas heaters will not work without an outside supplement!

The Average Running Cost of Solar Water Heater

The yearly annual operating cost of a solar water heater averages less than $200 per household! This is significantly less than any other type of water heater, including an electric water heater or gas.

This low annual running cost proves solar water heater systems are economically beneficial in the long haul!

The Average Running Cost of Gas Water Heater

Gas heaters are probably the most commonly used type of water heater. Gas water heaters typically cost around $35 to $40 per month per water bill.

Gas water heaters also require gas which can cost anywhere from $15 to $20 a month, depending on the amount and type of gas used.

The annual water heating costs for using a gas water heater average over $700 per year. This includes the daily use of your water heating system and the amount of gas that you are required to purchase.

The Average Running Cost of Electric Water Heater

Electric water heaters are slightly cheaper and have a running cost of roughly $500 per year. However, an electric water heater may require more maintenance and often break down more than gas or solar water heaters.

In addition to the higher energy costs, electric water heaters require regular mechanic visits. This maintenance is a red flag that you may need a backup heater or cash on hand for a future replacement!

Advantages of a Solar Hot Water System

Solar water heaters are absolutely worth the installation. These typically cost more to install and purchase than conventional water heating systems, but they have a high economic yield in the long haul.

These water heating systems are long-lasting and prove to be economical in the long haul.

Solar Water Heaters are Environmentally Friendly

Solar hot water systems supply hot water without releasing any harmful carbon emissions into the environment. They have a low ecological footprint and are

Solar Water Heaters have a Long Lifespan.

Solar water heaters have a long lifespan, roughly 20 to 30 years, without any sign of damage, so you can guarantee that you get your investment back.

All solar water heaters are different and therefore are made of different components. Depending on the type you buy, your solar water heater may have a longer lifespan than others.

Look into your brand and the reviews for potential insight into how long the water heater you buy is lifespan!

Solar Water Heaters are Low-Maintenance

Solar contractors recommend solar electricity for many reasons, one of the most prominent being how low-maintenance it is. These innovative devices can go without any maintenance for 3 to 5 years and still be considered ‘regularly maintained’.

In fact, owners’ manuals typically say solar electric heaters only require replacement parts every one or two years.

Solar Water Heaters are a Renewable Energy Source

Thermal energy is a renewable resource, so you can rest easy knowing that you always have a secure way to heat your water during emergencies. So while other people stress about rolling blackouts and gas shortages, you take a nice warm shower to relax!

Solar Water Heaters Get Lower Energy Costs

Homeowners who decide to install solar water heaters will save around 70% on their electricity bills. Along with the affordable cost, the benefits of solar water heaters are great for cutting energy costs and energy efficiency.

Disadvantages of a Solar Hot Water System

Solar water heaters are eco-friendly and cost-effective. However, solar heaters also have their own drawbacks too.

Therefore, when investing in your water heater, it is important to consider some of the disadvantages of solar water heaters.

Solar Water Heaters Are Geographically Restricted

Solar water heaters can only be placed in some areas because of sun and weather restrictions. If your property does not get enough sun, you will unfortunately not qualify for solar energy.

Furthermore, some environments are prone to freezing and therefore may not be supportive of solar electricity.

Luckily, various solar water heaters have been designed to withstand freezing temperatures by lining them with insulation!

Solar Water Heaters Have a High Initial Investment

The initial investment fee for solar water heaters is very high. Although there are tax incentives for this investment, this fee can be too costly for some people.

Similarly, on top of purchasing your water heater comes installation, a storage tank, and more. Before you know it, you have spent way more than you anticipated.

Not to mention mishaps, mistakes, and failures that can set you back further, like purchasing the wrong solar heater for your area. If you do not purchase the right one, you could waste thousands of dollars!

Solar Water Heaters Investment Payback Period is Too Long

After making your initial investment, it will take a few years to earn your money back. However, you will instantly see your water heating costs drop when you complete your solar water heater installation.

If money is an object, then making this large investment might be intimidating (especially since it will take upwards of five years to get a return on it!).

Solar Water Heaters Require Professional Installation

Many people love to do things themselves, and because solar energy is such a specialized branch of plumbing, it requires professional installation from a solar contractor.

Working with a contractor can be enough to deter some people from even trying a solar water heater in their home.

But, if you look up online reviews, you can find an experienced solar contractor who knows their trade well. Then, you forget the past and make your solar water heater work perfectly for your home!




How Much Does a Solar Water Heater Cost?

A solar water heater can range anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000. In general, pricing with vary based on the size, model, and condition.

Are Solar Water Heaters Expensive?

Solar water heaters are an expensive initial investment that will end up paying for themselves after a few years by saving you roughly 80% per year on the average cost of your energy bill.

How Much Does it Cost to Install a Solar Water Heating System?

Solar water heater installation prices can vary but average around $150 total.

Who Installs a Solar Water Heater?

Solar contractors or plumbers can install solar water heaters. Always choose solar water heater installers who are proven professionals in their trade.

Can I Go Solar With Trees on my Property?

You should consult with an energy consultant or solar contractor to ask them about getting your own solar heating system. They will let you know if you are not a candidate for solar energy!

How Much Roof Space Do You Need for a Solar Water Heater?

The amount of roof space required for your solar water heater system will vary based on your chosen model. For example, if you purchase a tankless water heater, then only your collectors will be outside.

Can I DIY Build a Solar Hot Water Heater?

It is not recommended to do a do-it-yourself solar water heater build. There are many requirements and special considerations when going solar!

Is a Solar Water Heater Worth it?

Solar water heaters are worth investing in. They are economically feasible and great for the environment. You will make your money back in no time!


Solar water heaters can be an expensive initial investment, but they are completely worth the cost. Furthermore, with government benefits like tax credits and other rebates, investing in a solar energy alternative is more feasible now than ever!

Finding the right solar water heating system is easy. There are many different kinds of solar water heaters to choose from. You need to select one that works for your environment! It is important to consider things like the weather around you might influence your water storage tank. Or how powerful you need your heat exchanger to be.

Solar hot water cost has always been considered high because of the initial investment but believe it or not, solar water heaters are affordable. The right solar water heater will save you money, be eco-friendly, and be more efficient than a conventional water heater.

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