How to make renewable heating more energy efficient

By Dynamic Solar PV

The cost of running your hot water boiler all year round isn’t something easily avoided. Cutting back on central heating, wrapping up warm during the winter months and being extra stingy with your water usage are options but they impact your daily life. Making compromises to your comfort isn’t something that you should expect to do while the cost of living just seems to get more and more expensive. If your boiler runs off electricity, you have the option to look into renewable energy as a way to power your heating. While the initial costs of having Solar Panels installed is daunting, the eventual saving and profits that you can make are a huge incentive. There are also ways in which you can make your heating all that much more energy efficient, making the most out of every bit of free electricity that you make on your property.

There are other forms of renewable heating outside of solar PV and solar thermal. Adding more ways to heat up your water supply without relying on the national grid further saves you money. This blog goes into what renewable heating means, how you can make the most of it and how to be as energy efficient with your renewable heating and electricity.

What is Renewable Heating?

The term ‘renewable heating’ can get confused with carbon-free, environmentally friendly sources of heat. Not all forms of renewable heating are kind to the environment. Biomass burners release carbon and heat pumps require electricity to draw ambient heat from the outdoors to the indoors. If your electricity supply is running off the national grid, you’ll be using electricity that’s fuelled by fossil fuels unless you are on a 100% renewable energy tariff. Essentially, any heating method that’s powered from non-renewable energy technically can’t fall into the same category though the heat source that heat pumps draw is renewable.

It’s best to think instead of renewable energy. Using solar panels, you can readily make use of solar energy which is 100% renewable and also carbon-free. There are two types of solar panel – Solar PV (photovoltaic) panels and solar thermal panels. Solar PV panels produce electricity which you can use to power your appliances including an electric boiler. Both can be used to produce hot water.

Heating a home with Solar PV

Supporting your electricity supply with Solar PV panels will drastically reduce the cost of your electricity bills over the year. The difference is particularly noticeable during the summer months but in truth you’re only benefiting from having Solar PV when the panels are producing free electricity when there’s sunshine. Otherwise, you’re relying off the electricity from your supplier during the night and during days when the weather is more overcast.

There are ways to ensure you’re heating up your water supply the most efficient way. Using your electric boiler at night runs the risk of using a lot of electricity from the grid. To get around this, it’s worth investing in storage batteries. Solar batteries charge up during the day so you can use the stored electricity at night. You can use stored electricity to run your electric boiler at night as well as your other appliances. It’s the best way to use every watt of electricity that you produce when the sun’s out.

Changing over from an electric boiler to a heat battery

Sunamp heat batteries are much more energy efficient than standard electric boilers that use a heating element to heat up your hot water supply. Heat batteries store thermal energy using Phase Change Materials which allows you to release the stored heat as and when you need it. Heat batteries are up to 4-10 times more energy efficient than boilers and are the very best way to heat up your hot water in tandem with your solar PV panel system.

You can find out more about heat batteries here.

Switching out a plumbed central heating system for electric radiators

With traditional central heating, a lot of heat energy is lost through pipes that transfer hot water to your radiators. While convection is the best method to heat a space evenly, there are electric radiators that work just as effectively as a water-filled radiator. Combining electric radiators with heat batteries gives the ideal solution for an energy efficient way to heat up your home in the winter.

Our sister company at Dynamic Heaters offers German Electric Radiators which combine both stored heat with direct heat. Utilising the same technology as a storage heater, these radiators are much more efficient than an electric heater. When rigged up to your solar PV system, you’ll be using free electricity when you switch on the radiators. As a result, your heating and your hot water will be carbon-free and guilt-free.

Find out more about our radiators here.

Heat pumps and insulation

If your property loses a lot of heat during the winter, loft insulation and cavity insulation is definitely a consideration. Regulating your home’s temperature will use up less energy, cutting back on your energy consumption when the cold weather comes in.

To further improve your energy efficiency, you may consider having heat pumps installed in your garden. These pumps bring in heat from outside for inside use. This heat can be stored up, ready for consumption.

How to get started on a renewable heating system

At Dynamic Solar, our team are specialists when it comes down to harnessing every bit of potential that Solar PV offers. We’ve done the research into the best systems and how to maximise the return on investment that you’ll see from having panels installed, taking the pressure off your expenses.

We offer an end-to-end service where we tailor your solar PV panel system to your expectations, energy consumption and budget. If you wish to have solar PV panels fitted then look into storage options at a later day, we’ll be on call to answer any questions you have.

If you would like to know more about our renewable energy and heating solutions, feel free to contact us here or give us a call on 01202 985 325.

You can also ask for a free quote here.