Solar thermal systems: the pros
The use of free, renewable energy- solar energy won’t be depleted like fossil fuels will be. Plus, you don’t have to pay for the use of the sun’s energy, like you do with utility power.
Installation incentives- installing a solar thermal system may will qualify you for federal tax credits which can reduce overall installation costs.
Quick payback period- solar thermal systems have a relatively quick payback period, especially compared to other energy efficient systems like solar electricity. Homeowners generally recoup the installation costs of a solar thermal system in 4 to 6 years.
Low maintenance costs- solar thermal systems are low maintenance, and generally have lower maintenance and repair costs versus a traditional tank hot water heater which is powered by gas or electricity.
Solar thermal systems: the cons
High upfront costs- compared to a traditional water heater, the upfront costs of a solar thermal system is much higher, which can be off-putting for some.
Backup power- not all areas can provide enough solar energy for a solar thermal system to create all a household’s hot water year-round. In the winter when temperatures are much lower, backup power like gas or electricity may be required.
Needed protection- a solar thermal system has outdoor components which need to be protected from the elements. Overheating and freeze protection are a must to ensure the proper operation and long lifespan of your system.