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Frequently Asked Questions


1.) Can I completely replace my existing (gas/electric/oil/etc) heating system with a Solar Heating System?

A solar heating system is intended to supplement a traditional heating system. While a system can be designed to provide 100% of the heating needs, such a larger design is not cost effective and the ROI is longer. Generally systems are designed to provide most of the heating requirements for most of the time.

2.) Does a solar thermal system produce hot water in the winter?

Absolutely! Our ATS panels feature evacuated glass tubes. This layer acts as an excellent insulator to the ambient temperatures. It may be Sunny and subzero, but the panel will be cooking. In locations where temperatures can be near or below freezing an anti-freeze solution or a drain back system is necessary.

3.) On Cloudy or overcast days does my solar heating system still work?

Some amount of Sunlight will penetrate the clouds and heat the system, but previously accumulated solar storage and a traditional heating system will be needed. see here

4.) What do I do with my existing heating/hot water system?

Generally the Solar Heating systems will easily tie-in to an existing system.

5.) Can the glass tubes break, if so what can I do?

The glass is borosilicate glass, a very durable material. They rarely get damaged, even with extreme conditions. If a tube is damaged, they are available at your local dealer. The tubes are inexpensive and easy to replace. A broken tube does not cause a system to leak, unlike a flat plate collector. The system is a closed and dry.

6.) What is the payback/ROI of the system?

Depending on factors including geographic location of the system, incentives or rebates, insolation levels (amount of solar radiation) in that area, installation considerations, and annual usage of the system, an average is 3 to 5 years.

7.) What is the life of the solar collector systems?

Evacuated tube Solar systems have a life expectancy of greater than 20 years with a manufacturer's warranty of 5 years. Extended Warranties are available.

8.) Does ATS solar heating systems require any maintenance?

Maintenance of the system is negligible; however, an annual assessment of the solar system is recommended to help to maintain efficiency levels and to help avoid potential long-term problems with the system.

9.) What is included in a Solar Heating Package, what else do I need?

Complete heating packages contain: Instructions, controller, collector(s), and storage tank. The balance of the system generally includes pipe, fittings, fill station or drainback, pump, and insulation.

10.) How much does a solar system cost?

A fully installed ATS solar thermal system which can provide enough hot water for a family of 1-3 people costs in the range of $6000 - $9000 before state and federal rebates/incentives.

11.) How much does it cost to heat a typical pool with PROPANE?

A typical 20 x 30 inground pool would require at least a 300,000 BTU propane pool heater.A slightly large 350K BTU is more realistic. Burning 1 gallon of propane in 1 hour makes about 100K BTU. A 350K BTU heater uses about 3.5 gallons of propane per hour. A 100 gal propane tank รท 3.5 gph = 28 hours. So you will empty a 100 gallon tank of propane every 28 hours of heater operation. To maintain a pool at 80F, 8-10 hours of operation per day is realistic. At that rate, you are going to be filling up a 100 gallon tank every 3 days. Current pricing is around $3.50 per gallon...thats going to be $350 every week.