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Answers to your Solar Heating Questions

With the popularity of Solar heating increasing as home owners become more environmentally friendly, questions are Forever being asked “is solar water heating any good?”, “how does solar power heating work?” and “will it save me money?”

These can be complex questions to answer as every house is built different to particular building regulations as the developments occur and technology has improved. Old town houses will have a lower energy rating compared to a housing developments that have just been completed, usually due to window type, insulation regulations and even down to how the house has been constructed.

The first thing we need to clear up is “What is solar energy?” and “How solar water heating works”. In layman’s terms the sun provides heat that is captured and can be harnessed to heat your hot water needs.

Step by step this is how it works;

  1. Cold water enters the hot water cylinder from the mains
  2. Inside a closed loop, special fluid is pumped up to a solar panel
  3. Fluid passes through metal pipes inside the panel and is warmed by the sun
  4. The fluid passes into a coil inside your hot water cylinder, this heats up the water
  5. There is a second coil inside your cylinder that’s connected to your boiler. This brings the water up to temperature set by your thermostat.

Solar heating as you can imagine is more efficient in the summer months, where solar heating can contribute to all your hot water needs (with exceptions). In the autumn and winter months solar heating will still be active but will need some assistance from your boiler or immersion heater.

Before you can come to a decision on solar heating that will it be right for your property, you need to know the 2 types of solar panels that are available and which will work best for your house.

Solar thermal heating

These are flat plate collectors that use the energy from the sun to create hot water for your home. These are generally the most common solar panels as they are the cheapest option.

Solar photovoltaic cells (PV)

These work by catching the light from the sun, capturing energy and converting it to electricity for use in the home. If excess electricity is produced you can export this back to the national grid, which in turn earns you money (or it can be stored in batteries on site). These panels come in two forms, as tiles or as fixed panels. The fixed panel option is the cheapest out of the two.

To know if your property qualifies for solar heating and what type suites your needs, book an appointment with Plumbcare.com today. Our solar heating specialist will give you the best advice so you can make an informed decision.

Installing solar panels can save as much as 1200kg of carbon dioxide emission a year by using PV according to the EST. This is a low maintenance way of saving energy and money. To maintain the panels all you need to do is clean them once a year. Both types of panels have a life span of 25 years.

Contact Plumbcare.com today for the best guidance on Solar panels.

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