Optimising Use

To make the most of your solar hot water heating system and to improve your overall energy efficiency there are few things to bear in mind, in both the configuration of your hot water systems and your use of them

  1. If you have only electric shower(s), you will not be making best use of your (solar) hot water, so it would be preferable to have at least one shower that does; this should be the shower you use most often
  2. It is best to use your “backup” water heating (i.e. your gas / oil boiler or your electric immersion heater) after the period of solar heating i.e. in the late afternoon / evening
  3. As mentioned in Hot Water Cylinder a well insulated cylinder is an essential component of a good solar hot water heating system, as it allows heat to be collected when it is available and hot water to be delivered when it is required; technically, the cylinder acts as a thermal buffer; nevertheless, it might be worth thinking about having that bath when the water is hot, rather than at another time when you might have to use the immersion heater, or oil / gas system
  4. Most washing machines and dishwashers are cold fill only, so cannot use stored hot water; however, most modern machines are quite efficient in their use of hot water, so this is not a significant issue