Combining the old with the new
01/09/2013
Combining the old with the new_1

With energy efficiency remaining a priority for heating manufacturers and installers alike, renewable products such as solar thermal and heat pump water heaters are continuing to evolve. But how can they be integrated into existing heating systems to work alongside more traditional technologies?

The first port of call for installers for hot water heating is still the gas boiler. According to the Energy Saving Trust, boilers account for around 55% of end users’ annual energy bills, so an efficient boiler will make a big difference. SEDBUK ‘A’ rated boilers offer significant reductions in fuel bills, while advanced controls, such as outside temperature sensing and modulating room thermostats, further minimise energy consumption.

The options available increase, however, when new and advanced water heating technology products enter the equation. Renewables are increasingly being incorporated into new and existing systems as an efficient and cost effective way of producing domestic hot water. Indeed, the combination of renewables and DHW can be successful, as long as the system has been specified and installed correctly.

One of the more popular choices for integration into a building’s heating system is solar DHW. Such systems work all year round, harnessing energy from the sun to provide comfortable levels of hot water, reducing fuel bills and adding value to a property. These systems are almost maintenance free, as well as capable of supplying up to 60% of a household’s annual hot water requirements.

Unfortunately, not all properties in the UK are suitable for, or compatible with solar DHW technology – often because of an inadequate roof area or the building facing the wrong direction to gain enough solar energy. Fortunately, there is another sustainable option: heat pump water heaters.

Air source heat pumps have become notoriously popular, given their high levels of versatility and adaptability. They have excellent coefficients of performance (CoP), require little maintenance and are quick and simple to install. Yet these products still have shortcomings, such as issues with being suitably sized and unwanted noise. To save end users from having to tolerate these constraints in return for financial and energy savings, a dedicated heat pump water heater is a viable alternative, focusing exclusively on renewable hot water production.

In fact, Ariston is leading the way in this renewable technology, having pioneered a heat pump water heater with an integrated unvented cylinder. This provides quick and efficient hot water delivery, high CoPs – and is a sustainable alternative to traditional electric storage water heaters. Plus, these units can be sited with ease, while reducing household utility costs.

As renewable heating products continue to evolve and become more popular, installers need to remain up to date with the latest technologies. By fully understanding the potential of sustainable systems, such as solar DHW and heat pump water heaters, and their effective integration, installers can ensure their businesses continue to thrive while providing end users with peace of mind, energy efficient properties and lower fuel bills.

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