Why You Shouldn’t Buy A Solar Birdbath Heater
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Why You Shouldn’t Buy A Solar Birdbath Heater
It’s winter and you want to provide a source of fresh water for birds to bathe in and drink all year long. However, you may live in a winter climate where the temperature stays below freezing for days or weeks at a time. While birds are very good at finding water sources, they do need to expend more energy if that have to melt ice to get the water. You may decide that a birdbath heater would be the perfect solution to this problem. You may even have read this post about solar birdbaths and think, “I’m sold”! Indeed, a birdbath heater will keep water from freezing over in cold temperatures. But you might not know that a solar birdbath heater is probably not the best choice for your backyard bird bath. Here a few reasons why it’s better to buy an electric birdbath heater or deicer.
A Solar Birdbath Heater Is Not Efficient
It might sound strange, but solar birdbaths heaters are not efficient. During winter, when the days are short, there is not enough time for solar cells to collect enough energy to power even a small birdbath heater enough to run all day and night. During snow storms, there is even less available sunlight, further preventing solar cells from producing enough energy.
A Solar Birdbath Heater Is Not Reliable
The whole reason for buying a solar birdbath heater is to prevent birdbath water from freezing over. Because a solar birdbath heater cannot store enough energy, your birdbath water would be at risk of freezing over! Frozen birdbath water will put your avian visitors at risk by depriving them of a reliable winter water source. In most cases, an electric birdbath heater is a more practical choice.
It’s Hard To Find A Solar Birdbath Heater
For the reasons we’ve seen, solar birdbath heaters are simply not that common. You might search for solar birdbath heaters on Amazon and find no or almost no results. This is because it’s so difficult to make an efficient solar birdbath heater. Often, though, you will find solar powered birdbath fountains. These fountains store enough energy to keep birdbath water flowing with a solar powered pump.
However, if you do decide to invest in a solar pump, you should buy one with a battery backup for greater dependability. The reason is that, even if you live in a sunny area, the sun will probably not shine all day every day. If you combine these fountains with an electric heater, and you will have the perfect year round water source for birds.
What About The Solar Sipper?
Until recently, the Solar Sipper was available for purchase on Amazon. However, we have found that the product is out of stock of late. In our opinion, the Solar Sipper was not a true solar bird bath heater. It consists of plastic. The idea is that the plastic will capture the sun’s heat and warm the water. We do not think this is very reliable. Frequently, the Solar Sipper becomes covered with snow, which blocks the sun from heating the water. Because it is not well made or reliable, we do not recommend the Solar Sipper.
What Are Solar Birdbath Heater Alternatives?
Here are a few good alternatives to solar birdbath heaters available on Amazon.
Farm Innovators Model B-9 Economical Birdbath De-Icer
If you’re looking for an inexpensive to a solar birdbath heater, this electric bird bath heater is the way to go. It uses 44 watts of power and has a unique foil design. It comes with a 3-pronged grounded cord, which makes it perfect for outdoor use in cold winter conditions. Customers report that this heater has kept their birdbath ice free all winter long. It is not thermostatically controlled, but with low wattage, it costs only pennies per day to run. This birdbath heater is available on Amazon for under $20.
Allied Precision BDT250 Bird Bath De Icer Multiple Thermostat
This electric birdbath heater is another popular choice on Amazon with many 5-star reviews. This heater operates with multiple thermostats and only turns on when the temperature gets cold enough. This ensures maximum energy savings and efficiency! This heater has a large surface are and runs cool, ensuring safe operation, even in plastic birdbaths.
Solar power in general is not a very reliable form of energy. In fact, if you try to heat your home’s water with it, chances are you would only be able to derive about 50-60% of the energy you would need to do so from solar energy. You would need to provide the remaining energy through conventional sources (electricity, coal etc). This same inefficiency applies to a solar bird bath heater. For this reason, we recommend saving yourself, and the birds, time and frustration by choosing an electric model.