Solar Water Heaters vs Tankless Water Heaters: Which One Should I Buy?

Comparison, Tankless Water Heater

tankless water heater vs solar water heater
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Solar vs Tankless Water Heaters: Frankly speaking, both are good in their own sense, and so the best thing that you can do is choose the one that not only caters to your needs but also falls well within your budget.

However, if you’re not sure which of the two will be suitable for you, then stay with us as we would be discussing the pros and cons along with the other related attributes.

Does it make sense?

Let’s start with a solar water heater as many of my clients have shown in this particular solar water heater model.

The thing that I really liked about this solar heater is that it is SRCC certified as well as eligible for tax credits and local rebates.

So, without any further ado, let’s have a quick look at both the pros and cons of a solar hot water heater.

Solar Water Heater


  • The good thing about a solar water heater is that it is highly adaptable, that is, it can work with your current water heater without any hassle
  • When it comes to energy saving, the solar water heater beat the tankless counterpart with a huge margin, indeed.
  • According to, the installation of a solar hot water heater can drastically reduce the energy bills up to 80%.
  • In fact, they have also mentioned in one of their articles, that if your daily hot water requirement is less than 41 gallons, then on-demand water heaters could be a better choice as compared to tank-styled water heaters
  • However, if your hot water requirement is more than 41 gallons and less than 80 gallons per day, then also the on-demand heater would be more efficient
  • You don’t have to worry at all about the price surge of fuels, be it natural gas or propane since you’re exploiting the natural resource, that is, sunlight as a fuel


  • If you’re on a shoestring budget then a solar hot water heater might not be economical for you
  • Similarly, if your hot water requirement is very less on a regular basis, then the upfront cost associated with a solar heater makes it not a favorable choice for you
  • If you’ve got a scarcity of space, then a solar heater may not be the preferred option as it will occupy huge space because of its shape and size which is somewhat similar to a tank-style water heater
  • Moreover, solar heaters have a huge maintenance cost as compared to tankless heaters

Tankless Water Heater


  • It can provide you endless hot water with no time constraint which isn’t the case with a solar heater
  • The tankless hot water heaters have minimal standby loss which makes them highly energy efficient
  • They are economical and comes with a low-maintenance cost
  • Furthermore, these small, compact, and sleek designed units can be easily installed in tiny spaces including attic and closet
  • Most of the tankless water heater models are known to last longer irrespective of whether they are electric, natural gas, or propane, in fact, they can last almost twice that of a traditional heater


  • May not provide you with adequate GPM if you reside in extremely cold climatic conditions
  • A tankless heater can be a great choice for newly built homes but things may turn out to be a pricey affair, in case, you want to install the unit in an existing house
  • Furthermore, in order to reap maximum benefits out of your tankless unit, you need to do the sizing perfectly

Solar vs. Tankless Hot Water Heater: MY PICK

Honestly speaking, a solar water heater is a great option, indeed.

However, as per my requirement, an electric tankless heater is what I would like to go with.

I live in a 3 BHK apartment in a warmer climate similar to Florida where my hot water requirement could be easily sufficed by an electric tankless.

The incoming groundwater temperature doesn’t fall too much so a medium GPM will do the work for me.

On the busiest day, I need to run a couple of fixtures simultaneously which could easily be taken care of by an electric tankless.

And, the best part is, my bathroom doesn’t have loads and loads of space so a wall-mounted tankless electric heater will do the job for me.

You might be wondering why I’m saying all these things to you, right?

Well, by asking similar questions to yourself, it would be a cakewalk for you to figure out which type of water heater would suffice your needs.

Nonetheless, if you’re sure about what you want then you can skip this step as it is mostly for first-time buyers and newbies.

Editor’s Choice

To be honest, I’m not gonna come up with a list of water heaters that I want to recommend, nothing that sort of, indeed.

Don’t worry, I’ll not bore you at all, in fact, you can click on the below links if you’re interested in reading the in-depth review of the models that I recommend else you’re free to skip it.

Personally, I’ve been using EcoSmart ECO 27 for quite a few years.

However, recently my husband upgraded to the ECO 36 which is a more powerful model.


Well, in this section, I’ll try to respond to the queries related to tankless vs solar water heaters in order to help you make an informed buying decision.

Are solar water heaters worth it?

Well, I also had the same question way back, and the worst part was, I could get a satisfactory answer on the internet.

I know many of the newbie buyers would be inquisitive about this query, right?

Correct me, if I’m wrong.

Definitely, solar water heaters are worth your investment, and it is clearly visible from the growing popularity of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels.

As soon as, you’ve completed the installation process, you can expect a reduction in your monthly electricity bills.

It pays off and for sure, but at the same time, you need to be patient as the huge upfront cost can be even out only in the long-run.

Why choose a solar water heater?

If I’m not wrong then in most of the developed nations, domestic water heating is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse emission, and as the utility cost is on surge so it becomes expensive as well.

Of course, choosing an electric tankless water heater can be a good choice as well but it might have a GPM constraint if sizing isn’t done properly.

Solar water heater is not only environment friendly but economical too.

If you’re still not convinced then let me tell you, most of the solar water heater models attract government rebates including tax credits.

Tankless Water Heater vs. Solar: The Conclusion

Not to deny, solar heaters are definitely a great option along with some serious limitations.

For example, if you reside in a cold zone where most of the time sunlight isn’t prominent and the area is prone to snow and wind on a frequent basis, then, in that case, an indoor tankless hot water heater could be a better option, isn’t it?

On the other hand, a resident of a sunny climatic zone can reap maximum benefits out of a solar water heater.

However, in the case of mobile homes as well as earthquake-prone zones, solar heaters may not be a preferred choice as they are installed mainly on the roof of the house.

Seeing all these small yet noticeable reasons, force us to recommend a tankless hot water heater to our clientele, and we’re doing the same to you as well.

I hope you’re satisfied with the logic that we’ve tried to present to you in the best possible manner that we could.

Do let us know in the comment section whether we were able to put a full stop to the age-old debate of tankless vs solar water heater or NOT.