Tankless vs. Solar Water Heater: Which is Worth the Investment?

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There are lots of things to consider when you have a new home to move in— a hot water system is one of them. The selection of your new water heater at home is crucial since it provides hot water usage and comes with energy consumption and expenses.

As there are many choices in the market that you can select from, you might have ended up the need to choose between the tankless and solar water heater. Aside from the factors of your needs in a water heater, know more about which hot water system is worth the investment for your home. Read on to know the pros and cons of both water heaters.

Criteria in Selecting a Water Heater

First of all, you need to know the criteria on how to select the best hot water system before we proceed to differentiate the tankless and solar water heater. Knowing the criteria is necessary so that you can choose better and wisely.

Now, in choosing the best type and model for your home, there are five things that you should consider. The fuel type and its availability, size, energy efficiency, and costs are namely the criteria wherein your chosen hot water system should pass.

The fuel type and availability significantly affect the annual operation costs, while the size makes sure that it can provide your home with enough hot water. Additionally, the water heater should be able to maximize your energy and cost savings. Lastly, before purchasing it, you should know the difference between the water heater types in annual operating costs.

Tankless Water Heater Type

This type of water heater works by directly using the stored water. For instance, if you turn on the hot water tap, the cold water immediately travels through the pipe and into the unit. Additionally, you do not need to wait for the storage tank to be full of hot water. It results in having a constant hot water supply for usage anytime.


The main advantage of the tankless type heavily relies on the continuous on-demand hot water supply that it can provide. The continuous supply is possible since it does not need to heat a tank full of water, unlike the traditional types. Other than that, its design is compact. Thus it does not need much space in your house.

The tankless hot water system is also more affordable than the solar-type, and it has a high-efficiency factor since it can be fueled through gas or electricity. Lastly, a homeowner can save for about 30 to 40 percent energy and expenses. Not to mention, it has a lifespan of 20 years; thus, you can save up on installment expenses for quite some time.


The downside of the tankless type is its installation costs can get pricey, especially if it needs fitting into a current home. This is why the tankless type is much ideal for new construction homes.

Lastly, tankless water heaters may not be able to provide enough hot water if several people use it simultaneously. For instance, you are using your shower while others use the dishwasher and clothes washer all at once. However, this can be solved if the size is big enough for provision.

Solar Water Heater Type

This type is also called the solar domestic hot water system that is considered a cost-effective way to generate hot water for your home since it uses the sun for fuel. Solar water heater works by storing water while being a solar collector.


Solar heater’s advantages can work with your current water heater; thus, it is adaptable and is efficient. Now, its main advantage is it can provide you greater energy savings compared to the tankless water heater. According to the U.S Department of Energy, if you opt for the solar-type, your water heating bills drop 50 to 80 percent.

Additionally, the use of free renewable resources is highlighted with this type since you can now not worry about the price of electricity or gases again. Why? Well, you’ll get the majority of its fuel from the sun, so no worries.


The downside of this type is that it may not be economical due to its expensive upfront cost, especially if you have a small household or put it in a vacation house that is only used for a limited amount of time. However, it can be a good investment in the long run.

Additionally, solar water heaters may take up more room than the tankless type and are dependent on your area’s climate.

Tankless vs. Solar Water Heater Conclusion

Solar water heaters are an excellent option for sustainability and a good investment in the long run despite the upfront expensive expenses. However, you should know that it has limitations that make it a good choice. For instance, if you live in an area that gets frequent snow, then fully utilizing the solar-type might be difficult.

Thus, if your home is not adequately prepared for the solar water heater types, then the tankless water heater should be a good option for you to consider.

Interesting related article: “What is Solar Energy?”