Electric vs. Solar Water Heaters

Wed, 30 Dec 2020

electric heater vs solar water heater

The water heater is responsible for producing heated water needed for bathing, washing, cleaning, drinking and cooking. For the water heater to operate, they run either on electric or solar energy.

These two types of water heaters run on power drawn from different energy sources with both having their respective advantages and disadvantages. If you are having difficulty choosing one which suits your water heating needs, we will provide you with a comparison in this article. 

Read on to find out.


Electric Water Heaters

This is a traditional and one of the oldest ways through which hot water systems are powered. Electric water heaters use electrical energy to heat water that is supplied around the house. The electrical energy is then converted into heat energy, which raises the temperature of the water.



1. Instant usage

The electric water heater allows you to heat water supplied around a house at any time of the year.


2. Fits into any space

Mounting of the electric water heater is easy. With the rightly sized electric water heater, you can mount it at anywhere you desire it to be installed.

3. Easy to use:

Usage of electric water heater is not complicated. With the twist of a faucet, you can assure the machinery works fine.


4. Easily regulated:

Most electric water heaters have knob or dial with the purpose to control the water temperature to avoid scalding.


5. Corrosion-free:

Since it is installed indoors, it is less likely to be vulnerable to corrosion or other natural damaging events like rain.


6. Easy maintenance:

There is no potential of gas leakage and the heating system requires less maintenance making it easy to maintain.



1. Shorter lifespan

The functionality and efficiency of electric heaters is limited to between 5 - 10 years. It is very rare for them to work properly after 10 years. 


2. Longer heating period

It takes quite some time to heat water.


3. Short circuit:

There is always the danger of a short circuit within the cords and cables. This can be dangerous for the user.


4. Increased in utility bills:

One of the drawbacks of using electric water heaters is that they lead to a rise in utility bills. According to the US Department of Energy, electric water heaters are responsible for 25% of the utility bills in most houses. 


5. Costly to operate:

Operating electric water heaters are expensive.


Solar Water Heaters

The use of solar water heaters is increasingly gaining popularity in Malaysia. This water heating system utilizes solar energy to heat water. In other words, it converts solar energy to heat energy that is used to heat water in houses.



1. Reduces utility bills

The solar water heating system is a great alternative source of energy to heat water in houses and reduce utility costs. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, solar water heaters reduce monthly utility bills by 50% to 80% on average.

2. Durability

Solar water heaters are highly durable. You can depend on solar panels to heat the water in your home for up to 20 to 30 years.


3. Cheap to operate

The only cost associated with solar water heaters is the purchase and installation costs that the owner bears. The solar energy that it runs on is free. Most countries offer tax credits of up to 30% in a bid to incentivize the installation of solar panels.


4. Eco-friendly

Because solar water heaters do not draw energy from fossil fuels, this makes them safe for the environment. Less pollutants are released into the environment. The energy is renewable and highly efficient.


5. Heated water availability

Even during a power cut, you can be assured that there will be availability of hot water.



1. Tedious installation process

Installation of solar water heaters requires a rooftop where the solar panels can be mounted. The installation process can be tiresome.


2. Corrosion prone

They are prone to corrosion and natural events like rain, snow, etc. as they are installed outside on rooftops.


3. Not efficient year-round:

Solar water heaters do not deliver hot water around the year, particularly when it comes to cloudy days. It depends on the availability of sunlight to function. At such a time, a backup is required. However, in tropical countries such as Malaysia, where sunlight is available all year round, this is certainly not an issue. 

Final Verdict

Are you looking for a hot water system that is eco-friendly and easy to operate and maintain? 

You should choose a solar water heater. Unlike electric water heaters, solar water heating systems generate a zero carbon footprint and prevent you from having to pay expensive utility bills. 

Contact us today for a free consultation.