Water heaters are essential for homes in places like Phoenix and surrounding areas. It may seem like there’s not much decision-making about water heaters, but that’s not entirely true. With the surge in energy-conscious decisions and eco-friendly options, homeowners often choose between tankless water heaters and solar water heaters.

While both have their merits, weighing the pros and cons is vital to make an informed choice. If you’re choosing between a tankless and solar water heater and wondering which is worth the investment, Donley A/C & Plumbing can help.

Solar Water Heaters

Solar water heaters use the abundant power of the sun to warm your water. They transfer heat from the collectors to the water storage through a mechanism involving solar collectors and a specialized fluid system. This innovative approach makes them a favorite among those seeking sustainable energy solutions.

However, while their environmental impact is commendable, there are some other aspects to consider before installing one.


  • Eco-friendly: They use renewable energy, reducing your carbon footprint.
  • Reduced energy bills: Over time, you can save on utility bills due to decreased electricity or gas use.


  • Size and space: One of the significant drawbacks of solar water heaters is their bulkiness. These systems often come with large collectors, which need to be installed, usually on rooftops. Not every home has the space or orientation to make the most of these systems. This can be a significant barrier for those with space constraints.
  • Cost: The initial expense for a solar water heater can be steep. And while utilities and governments provide some incentives, these are less generous than they once were, particularly in areas like Arizona. This means homeowners need to think long-term when considering the return on their investment. While the monthly savings on energy bills are a plus, it might take several years before those savings offset the initial costs.
  • Risk of flooding: Solar water heaters come with the risk of potential leaks. Unlike some other systems, a leak in a solar water heater can lead to significant water damage, especially given the size of these systems. The ensuing flooding issues can be a logistical nightmare and a financial strain, with potential damages extending beyond the system to other parts of the home.

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters are revolutionizing how homeowners think about their hot water supply. Gone are the days when large, bulky tanks took up substantial space in your home, waiting to dispense hot water.

With tankless water heaters, water is heated instantaneously, giving you hot water precisely when you need it. Let’s delve deeper into why these modern marvels are becoming the preferred choice for many homeowners in Arizona and beyond.


  • Efficiency: One of the standout advantages is their efficiency. Instead of continuously heating and reheating water in a storage tank, these units only heat water when you open the tap. This can lead to substantial energy savings, as the heater isn’t constantly working to maintain a reservoir of hot water.
  • Compact size: For those with limited space, the compact nature of tankless water heaters is a game-changer. Without a hefty storage tank, these units can be discreetly installed in tight spaces, including under cabinets or in closets, freeing up room.
  • Life span: When it comes to durability, tankless water heaters have a clear edge over many traditional systems. With fewer parts subjected to constant water exposure and the stresses of regular heating, they often outlast their tank-based counterparts. This means homeowners might replace their water heaters less frequently.
  • Safety: A significant concern with any water heater is the risk of leaks. With tankless water heaters, this risk is drastically reduced. Even if there’s a leak, the absence of a large storage tank means the damage and wastage are minimal — especially compared to the potential flooding issues posed by larger solar water heating systems.


  • Higher initial cost: While tankless water heaters offer many advantages, they can be more expensive to purchase and install than traditional systems. Many homeowners find that the energy savings and the unit’s extended life span often offset the initial investment in the long run. It’s essential to weigh the upfront cost against the potential long-term savings and benefits.

Choose Donley A/C & Plumbing for Your Water Heater Services

When it comes to water heater installations in Arizona, we recommend tankless water heaters. They’re efficient, save space, and are generally safer in terms of potential water damage. While solar water heaters have their benefits, the risks and costs can be significant, especially in our local context.

But more than just choosing the right water heater, it’s about choosing the right company for installation. Donley A/C & Plumbing, a family-owned business with 40 years of experience, stands out for our commitment to the community and exceptional service.

For those who value reliability and want to make a safe, efficient choice for their homes, tankless water heater installation from Donley A/C & Plumbing is the way forward. 

For more information or to discuss your water heater needs, call 602-787-3956.