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Eco Architects Ireland - Innovation, Attention
to Detail, Vision, Thinking out of the Box, Expertise.
Heat water for
your home using energy from the sun
Solar water heating systems use free
heat from the sun to warm domestic hot water. A conventional boiler or immersion
heater is then used to make the water hotter, or to provide hot water when solar
energy is unavailable.
See how solar water heating systems
* How do solar water heating systems
* The benefits of solar water
* Is a solar water heating system suitable for my
* Costs, savings and maintenance
how you can use solar hot water and solar electricity
How do solar water heating systems
Solar water heating systems use solar panels, called
collectors, fitted to your roof. These collect heat from the sun and use it to
warm water which is stored in a hot water cylinder.
A boiler or immersion
heater can then heat this water further until it reaches the temperature set by
the cylinder's thermostat. (This should be set at 60 degrees
Larger solar panels can also provide energy to heat your
home as well - though usually only in the summer months when home heating is
benefits of solar water heating
Hot water throughout the year: the system works all year round, though you'll
need to heat the water further with a boiler or immersion heater during the
* Cut your bills: sunlight is free, so once
you've paid for the initial installation your hot water costs will be
* Cut your carbon footprint: solar hot water is a
green, renewable heating system and doesn't release any harmful carbon dioxide
or other pollutants
Is a solar water heating system suitable for my
To tell if solar water heating is right for you, there are
a few key questions to consider:
* Do you have a
sunny place to put solar panels? You'll need around 5 square metres of roof
space which faces east to west through south and receives direct sunlight for
the main part of the day. Alternatively, if you have space, you could install
two panels, one facing east and one facing west - but this will make
installation more complex and costly.
* Do you have
space for a larger, or an extra, hot water cylinder? You will need this to allow
room for a solar heating coil to warm your water.
your current boiler compatible with solar water heating? Most conventional
boiler and hot water cylinder systems are compatible with solar water heating.
If your boiler is a combination boiler (combi) and you don't currently have a
hot water tank then a solar hot water system may not be
* Do you need planning
permission? most solar water heating systems don't need planning
permission, but it is always best to consult your local planning office if you
live in a Listed Building, or a building in Conservation Area or World Heritage
A competent accredited installer will be able to assess your
home and help you choose the best set-up to meet your needs.
Costs for a typical solar
water heating system
range from €3,500 to €5,500. Savings are moderate -
solar water heating system can provide about a third
of your hot water
needs, reducing your water heating bill by
between €75 and €120 per year. It
will also save up to 580kg
of CO2 emissions, depending on what fuel you will
Maintenance costs are very low. Most solar water
heating systems come with a 5-10 year warranty and require little maintenance.
You should take a look at your panels every year and have them checked more
thoroughly by a professional installer every 3-5 years. All savings are
approximate and are based on the hot water heating requirements of a 3 bed semi
detached home with a 3.5m squared panel.
Solar water heating systems
tend to require little maintenance