Solar Water Heating
Hydronic heating is simply the most comfortable way to heat your home. For a new house, warm water flows though pipes embedded in the concrete slab. This warms the floor and avoids cold drafts. For existing houses, the pipes can be installed over the existing floor, raising the level of the floor somewhat, or hot-water radiators can be used.
In the long-term, hydronic heating can be cost effective. In addition, if you use solar hot water roof panels as the primary heat source it can be the greenest method of heating your home.
Windows are a major source of heat loss. Double glazed windows have an R-value of at most R0.4 ( compare that to the R-value of the insulation in the roof which is usually R4 or R5). Symphony double-cell honeycomb blinds have an Rvalue of R1, which means the windows combined performance is R1.4, almost as good as the wall insulation! They achieve this by using side tracks to prevent air circulating past the cold glass. They also they look great, plus they are cheaper than just about anything else you will find in Australia. We would be happy to give you a measure and quote.
- Best thermal performance - better than heavy curtains with pelmets
- Lowest price window treatment
- Look fantastic!
Solar Hot Water
A solar hot water heater can provide a very high percentage of your hot water needs in our region.
The ratio of free solar energy to electricity used by the booster is referred to as the "solar contribution".
In other areas of Australia, the solar contribution can be as low as 60%.
With our systems, in our region, it can be as high as 95%.
This is due to a number of factors. First and foremost our region experiences high levels of solar radiation. Evacuated tubes are an excellent choice here because they remain efficient even with low air temperatures. Lastly, our systems use a timer to avoid the booster coming on at inappropriate times.
We do not sell gas boosted systems. The electric booster is cheaper upfront, requires less maintenance, and needs to be used rarely (unless of course you have teenagers whose skin turns pink and wrinkly from standing under the shower too long!). Lastly, there is no such thing as green methane (the principal component of natural gas), whereas it is possible to buy green electrons by signing up to green power for a small extra charge.
Advice / Design
Let us help you
We can design your new heating system. Or we can give you some advice that will help you to decide on which system will meet your needs.
We can design and install:
- Solar hot water systems.
- Solar-boosted in-slab concrete radiant heating systems.
- Solar-boosted hydronic radiator systems in existing houses.
- Solar-boosted combined hydronic and hot water systems.
Advice, Supply, Install
If you are considering building a new house, make sure you get the pipes installed in the slab - its a bit too late once the slab is poured! We can provide advice on what options are available, and we can design and install the system.
We use Rehau hydronic pipes because they have the best reputation in the industry, and come with a very long warranty.
If you are renovating, it is still possible to install in-floor heating, provide you don't mind the floor being 30mm higher than previously.
Also consider using hydronic radiators in each room. While not as effective as in-floor heating, hyrdonic radiators can nevertheless be a much better solution than other alternatives.
For some further information, read this Hydronic Heating Fact Sheet
Cold feet? Not with hydronic heating
The ideal temperature profile for a room is to distribute the warmth evenly. Its uncomfortable to have all the hot air near the ceiling and all the cold air at the floor. In-slab hydronic heating puts an end to that. Read more about hydronic heating choices and the ideal temperature profile.
People with asthma love hydronic heating. Dust mites don't get an opportunity to breed and cause mischief as they do with other kinds of heating that rely on moving hot air through the room. Hydronic heating relies on radiation - a more comfy and healthier way to heat your home.
No noisy fans!
Combined Solar Hot Water and hydronic systems
A combined system sounds good in theory - one tank, killing two birds with one stone. But there are complexities to consider. Potable hot water must be kept hot to avoid legionaires disease, 60 degrees or more, so when the temperature gets too low the booster will come on to restore the temperature to avoid that. This makes it difficult to extract all of the available heat from the tank, and prevents the roof collectors working as efficiently as they otherwise could. Rotex and Latento Latento tanks are are purpose built for combined systems but can be expensive. This kind of combined system will attract STCs (Smallscale Technology Certificates).
Are you an owner builder?
We can help you design your system. We can supply or help you find the bits you need, and can assist you to install it. Send us your plans and we can talk about your project.