Tools & Equipment

Things to remember before choosing a solar thermal heating system

When you are considering having a solar thermal heating system installed you can be met with a lot of information and this could leave you confused about what to do next. With expert help you can find the right system for you and your home as a great deal will depend upon where the system is to be placed and what you expect it to do.

It is estimated that if the right system is in place around 70% of your hot water annually could be provided by a solar thermal heating system. For the system to be at its most efficient it should be placed on a south-facing roof (or similar surface that is close to the house). This roof should have a 45° tilt. This does not mean that if your roof does not face south you cannot have solar thermal heating. For example, if your roof faces east/west, you can put a panel on each side to make sure that you catch enough of the sun’s rays. However, you need to note that this could cost you more.

You need to think about the hot water system that you have in place at the moment. Solar thermal heating requires a hot water cylinder and if you do not currently have one then you would have to pay for this to be installed, although this should not be a problem for your installer.

Talk to your installer about the weight of the system. Most roofs can support the thermal panels that are used but a roof in poor condition might need some work before the installation can go ahead. A reputable installer will carry out a site survey before starting any work and will advise you accordingly.

Remember that not every site will need to have planning permission for the panels but it is advised that every homeowner checks with the local authorities before going ahead and having the work done just to be sure. Again, this is something that your installer may be able to help with.

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