More Information

Here are most commonly asked questions about solar hot water...

  1. Will my Solar Hot Water collectors work when it's cloudy?
    Yes, Solar Collectors work by converting Solar Radiation into Heat and under cloud cover will still provide a gain.
  2. What is the payback period for Solar Hot Water?
    At today's current fuel prices you can expect a return between 6 - 10 years on domestic hot water, and 3 - 6 years for Swimming Pools.
  3. How much hot water will the system generate?
    Following your site survey from a Homesmart approved installer; a system will be designed to meet your complete hot water needs.
  4. How long will an installation take?
    Typical installations will be carried out in a day, however should extra work be required a couple of days may need to be added.
  5. Will I need a new boiler?
    No you will not need to replace your boiler, the system works in conjunction with your existing boiler
  6. What happens if I have a combi boiler?
    To benefit from Solar Power you will need to install a hot water cylinder. As long as you have space (including your loft) then a solar thermal system can be integrated.
  7. Why is anti freeze used in the system, and why will it need changing every 3-5 years?
    Anti freeze is introduced to the system to avoid freezing in the winter. As anti freeze looses its properties it will need to be replaced to prevent this, prolonging the life of your Homesmart system.
  8. Will I need to clean the Solar Hot Water panels?
    Our panels are designed to be self cleaning to ensure a maintenance free solution.
  9. Is there enough sun where I live?
    Yes the UK receives 60% of the Solar Radiation of that found on the equator.
  10. Can I fix a Solar Hot Water panel to a flat roof?
    Yes, flat roof mounting frames are available should you wish to site panels on a flat roof. The panel will still need to be positioned at a 30° angle.
  11. Will I need a south facing roof?
    Yes, as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west Solar Panels can be used anywhere along the suns path. Roofs with a northerly orientation are not suitable for Solar Panel. View Property Suitability for more information
  12. What are the environmental benefits of Solar Hot Water?
    Solar Hot Water is a green, renewable heating system and doesn't release any harmful carbon Dioxide or other pollutants. Reducing your carbon footprint ensures that the planet is protected for future generations to enjoy.
  13. Can I expand the system if my family size increases?
    Yes, your installer can add extra Solar Panels to accommodate for increases in the number of habitants. You may however need to increase the size of your hot water cylinder.
  14. What happens if I smash a vacuum tube?
    Very rare as the tubes are toughened. Should a vacuum tube break it will condensate and appear white. Replacement tubes are easily available via Homesmart Stockists and can be changed by your installer. Acting quickly in replacing the tubes is advised, as damage can be caused to the system if the copper tube is left exposed.

Solar Powered Hot Water Systems

Over half your hot water FREE!
You can save up to 70% on your annual hot water bills

Homesmart logoThe new Climax solar powered domestic hot water system is designed to save you money right through the year. Thanks to technology you'll save even during the winter months when the sun's not shining - and with rocketing energy prices, future cash savings are bound to become even more significant.

Unlike central heating, hot water is a year round requirement. That's why the Climax system is designed to supplement, and therefore reduce the cost, of using your existing boiler or immersion heater whatever the season.

A solar energy system will add value to a property. Your carbon footprint will be much lower, and solar hot water is environmentally friendly because it releases no harmful carbon dioxide or other pollutants into the atmosphere.

How it works

The latest Evacuated Tube Collectors used by Climax are unaffected by wind chill or ambient air temperatures. Unlike flat panels, cleverly profiled reflectors catch the maximum amount of sunlight available, and continue to absorb solar energy even on cold or dull days. This heat from free sunlight means you could be paying less than half the cost of using conventional water heating. Solidly engineered for high performance and a long life, the Climax system has been developed specifically for the UK. Brilliant design makes it compatible with virtually any hot water set up, and can be installed quickly and efficiently by our fully trained fitters with minimum disruption.

It is virtually maintenance free, and if a tube ever gets damaged it can easily be replaced without draining the system.

A few reasons why Solar Hot Water is right for you

Help the environment

An average of 18 tonnes of CO² emissions can be saved by using Solar Hot Water throughout the products life cycle.

Reduce your bills

Solar energy provides the best of both worlds. You not only get to reduce your carbon footprint, you can also save up to 70% on your hot water bills which will increase once your pay back period has been reached.

Payback periods

By installing a Climax Solar Hot Water system in your home, you not only help to improve the environment, you're also saving money too!

Typical pay-back periods obviously vary dependent upon your circumstances, (i.e. number and orientation of collectors, water consumption etc) but estimates can range from 4 -7 years. As the collectors function none stop for 12 months a year, you can rest assured it won't be long until 70% off your yearly hot water requirements are free!

Increase the value of your home

Research from the Carbon Trust, shows that up to 6% can be added to the price of a property which benefits from solar energy.

Protect against rising fuels prices

Fluctuations in energy and fuel prices are as unpredictable as the weather in the UK. By installing Solar Hot Water you are going a long way towards controlling and fixing your energy bills helping you to plan for the future.
Can you afford not to have it?

Is My Property Suitable for Solar Panels?

Up to 90% of properties in the UK are suitable for Solar Hot Water Systems, but the following simple guidelines will need to be followed to ensure you reap the rewards that solar can provide.

Whether your property is suitable depends on the following factors. Most important is the direction or orientation of your roof where the solar panels will be located, and whether or not the roof is in the shade. Nearly all properties are suitable, you just might have to have an extra collector or two to maximise the systems output.

External

For maximum efficiency, solar panel collectors should be mounted on a south facing roof at a 30° angle with the horizontal and away from any shadows from trees, surrounding buildings or chimneys. Approximately 3-5m² will be required to mount the panels. If your roof faces southeast or southwest you'll still get good coverage, but you may need to add one extra collector for maximum efficiency. The vacuum tubes can withstand temperatures of minus 18°C.

Internal

Solar installations don't just stop at the roof, the hot water that is provided by the collectors needs pumping back through the house into a hot water cylinder ready for use. Therefore you will need to ensure that your property has the facilities to cater for a new hot water cylinder. This can be where ever you have the space, whether it's in your loft, or an old cupboard in the kitchen.

Combi Boilers

Home-owners who have recently had a Combi-boiler installed to their property can still utilise Solar Hot Water, as Homesmart provide a valve that allows the two systems to work together.

Solar Panels Planning Permission

Planning permission rules and regulations for solar panels were relaxed in 2008, to encourage more home-owners into renewable forms of energy.

Therefore most homes in the UK can benefit from Solar Energy. The basic rules for the installation of Solar Panels are as follows:

All solar installations should follow the recommendations below:

  • Solar Panels on a building should be sited to minimise the effect on the appearance of the building and to minimise the effect on the amenity of the area.
  • Solar Panels should not be installed above the ridgeline and should project no more than 200mm from the roof or wall surface.
  • If your property is a listed building, installation is likely to require an application for listed building consent, even where planning permission is not needed. If your property is in a conservation area, or in a World Heritage Site planning consent is required when panels are to be fitted on the principal or side elevation walls and they are visible from the highway.
  • If panels are to be fitted to a building in your garden or grounds they should not be visible from the highway.

The latest Evacuated Tube Collectors used by Climax
The latest Evacuated Tube Collectors used by Climax
Click photo to view larger

Brilliant design makes it compatible with virtually any hot water set up
Brilliant design makes it compatible with virtually any hot water set up
Click photo to view larger

Solidly engineered for high performance and a long life
Solidly engineered for high performance and a long life, the Climax system has been developed specifically for the UK
Click photo to view larger

Typical two panel installation kit
Typical two panel installation kit

Solidly engineered for high performanceSolidly engineered for high performance and a long life, the Climax system has been developed specifically for the UK.
Click photo to view larger

Brilliant design makes it compatible with virtually any hot water set up, and can be installed quickly and efficiently by our fully trained fitters with minimum disruption. Brilliant design makes it compatible with virtually any hot water set up, and can be installed quickly and efficiently by our fully trained fitters with minimum disruption.
Click photo to view larger

View more solar heating in our gallery