Underfloor Heating

The Beginner’s Guide to Underfloor Heating

Underfloor heating is a luxurious addition to any home, and it comes with some excellent advantages in terms of efficiency when compared to traditional heating methods. Complete Renewables is a leading supplier of underfloor heating in Essex and the surrounding area.

What is Underfloor Heating?

Underfloor heating is a highly efficient alternative to traditional heating methods, and it can be specially designed to work with renewable energy sources heat sources. It is likely that underfloor heating will result in less heat loss for your household than radiators, or warm air central heaters

Why is Underfloor Heating so Efficient?

Heat rises, so installing your heat source at the lowest possible point in the room is a great way to maximise heating efficiency. Researchers estimate that underfloor heating is 40% more efficient than using a radiator. Using energy efficiently is great news both for your wallet and for the environment. It means that you spend less and you get more bang for your buck.

Underfloor heating works well with almost every type of flooring, though it is a good idea to check with a professional beforehand. Floors of a certain thickness are best for achieving optimal heating efficiency. Underfloor heating works well with tiles, carpet, and most other materials you can think of. The feeling of a warm stone floor against bare feet is a wonderful winter treat! Underfloor heating also spreads warmth evenly across the room, and almost never requires maintenance.

What are the other Advantages of Underfloor Heating?

You can either use an underfloor heating system by itself or in conjunction with a radiator. If you choose to go without a radiator, then you can make the most of the free space and focus on your home’s design. It’s easy to create a beautiful minimalist look without a radiator using up wall space.

Underfloor Heating Installation

It is possible to fit underfloor heating retrospectively, though you would probably get best results from installing underfloor heating in a new-build. At Complete Renewables, we specialise in installing underfloor heating that uses either an air source heat pump or a ground source heat pump. The good news is that both of our heat pumps provide efficient renewable energy and qualify for a Government Renewable Heat Incentive which means that you’ll be paid for the renewable energy you produce over 7 years.

If you would like to learn more about the various government incentives in place that reward renewable energy home improvements, then you should either read our comprehensive guide on saving money with Renewable Energy, or give us a call on 01621 827015.

Immersun solar hot water heater

Everything You Need to Know About Solar Hot Water

Immersun solar hot water heaterSolar hot water systems are an efficient and sustainable way of heating water for your household. We look at the different types of Solar hot water systems available, and how to minimise maintenance costs.

What is Solar Hot Water?

Solar hot water systems use solar energy to heat your household hot water. They are a renewable energy technology that can reduce your water heating bill by around 60%. Solar hot water systems are fantastically efficient, and most of them work without problems for decades. There are two main solar hot water systems in common use today: solar thermal panels and PV solar panels.

What are the Differences Between Solar Thermal Panels and PV Solar Panels?

Solar thermal panels use the sun’s warmth to heat some of your hot water. Fluid inside the solar collectors absorbs warmth before being pumped to the hot water cylinder. This heated fluid is used to heat your water to the desired temperature.

PV solar panels use sunlight to generate electricity. Solar photovoltaics (PV) cells capture the sun’s energy even on cloudy days – they don’t need direct sunlight to work. The electricity generated is cheap and sustainable. Rather than export energy that isn’t used in the home, this energy is diverted to the immersion in the hot water cylinder, effectively producing hot water for free.

What are the Maintenance Cost of Solar Hot Water?

Senior researchers have estimated that the maintenance costs of solar hot water systems runs at as little as 2% of the installation cost per year on average. Many solar hot water systems work without problems for decades. However, as with all energy generators, there is a small chance that a fault may develop.

It’s worth remembering that sooner is better when it comes to solar hot water system maintenance. If you have reason to think that there may be a fault, don’t wait to see if things get better by themselves, get a professional to take a look as soon as possible. Minor faults are cheap to repair, but there is a chance that they can become much more expensive problems if they aren’t seen to quickly.

PV solar panels require almost no maintenance. Solar thermal panels need a little more maintenance as the moving fluids and piping should be checked by a professional every three years or so.

How to Keep Solar Hot Water Maintenance Costs Low?

It’s important to hire a trusted professional for the initial installation. A badly installed solar hot water system is likely to develop problems and require higher maintenance costs. That is why it is worth paying a little more up front to get it right the first time around.

Another reason to use an established professional is because you know that they will still be around in a few years time should you need any repair work done. If a fault develops in your system, then it is best to use the same people who originally installed the system to fix your problem. Companies are reluctant to fix solar hot water systems installed by other companies because the model may be very different to what they are used to working with. If you use a newer company to install your system and then that company goes out of business, then you could find yourself in a difficult situation where no one will fix your system.

DIY Solar Hot Water Maintenance

Though you should hire a professional to do most of your maintenance work, there are a few things that you can do yourself if you feel confident enough.

  • Check for Shading. Take a quick look to see if any vegetation has grown to the point where it is shading your solar hot water system.
  • Check for Dusting. If dust is covering your panels, then they won’t be running at maximum efficiency.
  • Check for Damage. It’s worth taking a look for damage every now and again. If you see cracks, corrosion or leaks, then it is time to call a professional.

Complete Renewables are the leading suppliers of solar heating systems in Essex. If you would like to know more about solar energy, then you can either read our guide to debunking myths about solar energy, or contact us on 01621 827015.