Determine if your home site is suitable for installation
Most solar collectors which work with solar hot water systems will be mounted on the roof of a home. Ideally, your roof should have the following qualities:
- Your roof should have direct exposure to sunlight between 10 am and 3 pm
- Your roof should face South
- Your roof and roofing materials should be in good condition
Determine which system type is best to meet your needs
Consult a solar contractor for help navigating the available options and determining which is best suited for meeting your needs.
- Research how solar hot water systems work so you can ask your installer questions about the different collector types and circulation systems available to you
- Consider your area’s climate to determine if some systems are better than others in freezing temperatures
- Estimate the size needed to provide for your home’s hot water needs
Learn about rebates and tax credits
There are programs which may be available to you that can help offset the cost of installing a solar hot water system.
- Research federal tax credits, which can equal up to 30 percent of the installation cost
- Find out if your state or local government, or utility provider offers tax incentives or rebates for installing high efficiency solar hot water systems
Learn more about ongoing maintenance needs
Your new solar hot water system will need some maintenance to ensure peak performance and equipment longevity.
- Ask your solar installer how frequently maintenance should be performed and what steps you can routinely take to protect your equipment