Should You Install A Solar Power Water Heater When You Already Have A Gas Boiler?

We are much more environmentally aware these days than what we ever were before, with the threat of global warming looming over us on a daily basis. Most of us have made some lifestyle changes to do what we can to help the planet, from recycling where we can to simply being more aware of how much energy we are actually using in our homes. But we can go one step further and install a renewable energy system in our home and do even more for the future of the planet. Solar water heating systems are a great place to start if you are considering the switch over to sustainable energy.

How Does A Solar Hot Water System Work?

Solar panels will usually be installed on your roof to pick up the maximum amount of heat from the sun. This is used to heat the water which is then stored in a cylinder in your home. Most people will add an immersion heater or boiler to bring the water to the correct temperature. You’ll find that solar water heating panels fall into two main types:

  • Flat plate collectors – these are usually affixed to the roof
  • Evacuated tubes

You need to be aware that for the solar panels to be instaled on your roof, you’ll need to make sure that there is at least five square metres of available roof space that receives direct sunlight throughout most of the day. Whilst the weather in the UK can be unpredictable at the best of times, solar panels continue to receive energy from the sun even on cloudy days, albeit in smaller quantities.

Is It The Right Choice For Your Home?

Before you can decide if a solar water heating system is the right choice for your home, there are a few things that you will need to consider. The amount of roof space you have for the solar panels to be instaled on is obviously vitally important, but these other factors also carry a lot of weight:

Is your boiler compatible with a solar heating system?

Unfortunately, combi boilers that don’t have a separate hot water tank are not usually compatible with solar water heaters, although most other boilers are fine. Your local gas boiler installation company will be able to advise you on the correct setup to meet your needs.

How much space do you have for another hot water cylinder?

Most homes will either need to have their existing cylinders replaced or add an additional cylinder which features a solar heating coil for the new heating system.


Solar water heating is an excellent sustainable choice to heat your home and will save you money on your energy bills in the long run. Whether or not it is right for your home is a complicated question, and one that is best answered by a professional renewable energy installation company – their experienced staff can assist you in making your home more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

In what is still considered an emerging industry, Sustainable Energy Engineering has been successfully installing solar panels in homes and businesses since 2006. During this time, Steve Fairless, the owner of this family business has expanded and they have become the principle supplier of solar PV and solar hot water systems in the North East of England, establishing themselves as tried and trusted renewable energy experts. you can visit their website at

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