If you've been shopping for a new water heating system, you may have heard of the relatively new solar-powered systems. While such systems are generally more expensive to purchase, they are significantly less expensive to operate. However, saving money on your monthly water heating bill isn't the only advantage to choosing a solar water heater.
How a solar water heating system works
Solar water heating systems, as the name implies, harness the sun's energy to help heat water for household uses, such as washing dishes, showers and laundry. The energy is collected via photovoltaic cells that are mounted on the top of your home and transfer energy to your home appliances, like the water heater. Since few areas are sunny year-round, these systems are equipped with a natural gas or electric-powered back-up system, so you'll never run out of hot water, even on cloudy days.
Advantages of a solar water heater
1. It costs less to operate. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, installing a solar water heating system can cut your water heating costs by 50 percent. They estimate that the average family will save between $140 and $280 per year, depending on what type of back-up system you choose.
2. It's kinder to the planet. By choosing a solar-powered water heating system, your family will consume less energy and fewer resources will be needed to produce electricity or natural gas.
3. You'll qualify for federal tax credit. If you purchase and have a qualifying solar water heating system installed no later than December 31, 2016, you'll be eligible for a credit on your U.S. federal tax return of up to 30 percent of the purchase price and the cost of installing the system. This applies to systems added to new and existing homes, primary and vacation homes. It's easy to claim this deduction. You simply complete IRS Form 5695 and submit it with your regular tax return. The tax credit is automatically added to your refund or deducted from the taxes you owe.
4. Solar systems last a long time. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that the average solar water heating system will last for around 20 years. That's quite a bit longer than the average gas or electric-powered system.
While a solar water heating system may not be the right choice for every household, this type of system will save you money on your monthly water heating bill, help conserve natural resources and even save you money on your taxes. Talk to experts like AA Plumbing for more information.