If you’re planning to renovate your house, making it more energy efficient should be among your top priorities. This will help to cut down on your monthly energy bills and, help to conserve the environment. There are many heating systems to choose among. However, if being energy efficient is your goal, solar and heat pumps are two heating systems you should consider.
Solar heating systems
These are perhaps the most popular sustainable and efficient home heating systems. These feature solar panels which harness the sun’s energy and convert it into heat. The panels are installed on the south facing side of the roof in order to harness as much solar energy as possible. The converted heat energy is then distributed throughout the house via plumbing or air networks. Solar heating systems can provide up to 60% of an average family’s annual hot water requirements thus cutting down on your energy costs.
Types of solar panels
Flat plate photovoltaic panels
These are the most common type. Many homeowners prefer them due to their low installation and maintenance costs. These heating systems are also more robust and visually appealing.
Tube systems are usually larger compared to their flat plate counterparts. They’re also more expensive to install and maintain. However, tube systems are more efficient at collecting solar energy and converting it into heat even during winter.
The best time to install a new solar heating system is when building a new house, extending your existing house or when doing a major renovation. Carrying out a solar heating system installation project on its own can be expensive and difficult since it will involve installation of new plumbing. It’s therefore recommended that you first undertake cost analysis to determine whether installing a new solar heating system is justifiable by the energy costs savings you’ll enjoy in the long run.
Solar heating systems are usually designed to be compatible with specific hot water cylinders. This means that you’re likely going to have to replace your existing hot water cylinder during installation. The great thing is that many of the modern solar heaters are compatible with your traditional boilers. This feature will come in handy during the winter months when the solar heater isn’t efficiently heating water and you’ll need to partially revert to using your boiler.
Heat pumps are relatively new compared to solar heating systems. Unlike solar heaters which only require the sun’s rays to generate heat, heat pumps operate on electricity. They work by extracting heat from the ground or the surrounding air and channelling it back into the house.
Compared to traditional electrical house heating systems, heat pumps are more energy efficient with regard to how much electricity they consume. However, they tend to be expensive to install.