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Air conditioning with solar panels

If you only want to heat your home with electricity and no longer want to rely on fossil fuel gas, you have a variety of options. You can think of a heat pump, a solar boiler, a pellet stove, or a biomass boiler. Another option you have is to do this with air conditioners. 

Read more about How many solar panels do I need for an air conditioner

Air conditioning with solar panels

You generate the extra energy that you use for this yourself with solar panelsThere are a number of important benefits associated with this installation and it can do much more than just heat and cool your home. That is why air conditioners that work with solar panels are already offered. Do you know more? Then keep reading here.


The information that everyone is always looking for is, of course, cost. In this case, you pay for two installations, namely the solar panels and the  air conditioning  . Especially if you want to heat your whole house in this way, you will need quite a few units and panels. So first calculate how many kWh your air conditioners will need and have an installation with connected solar panels. The following table gives you an idea of ​​the possible costs.


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Edition air conditioner with solar panels Price including VAT and assembly
Multi split air conditioner, 1 indoor and 1 outdoor unit € 2,500 – € 4,000 in total
Additional indoor units € 600 – € 800 per unit
Solar panels 2500 kW of power € 6,000 – € 6,250
Solar panels 3500 kW of power € 8000 – € 9000
Solar panels 4000 kW of power € 9,000 – € 11,000
Solar panels 5000 kW of power € 11,000 – € 13,000


Grants and other resources

In fact, it is strange that air conditioners are not subsidized. These contain a heat pump, but because it is an air-to-air heat pump, you cannot use the Sustainable Energy Investment Grant for this. You can receive financial support through solar panels and in the following ways:

  • VAT deduction  : The main way the government supports you with your investment is by offering you the ability to claim all the VAT you have paid. That’s 21 percent of all expenses related to the purchase and installation of your solar panels. You will have to carry out some administrative procedures for this and you have to register as an entrepreneur with the tax authorities, but these of course are worth more than the amount you finally receive.
  • Regional subsidies  : there are municipalities and provinces that have decided to make subsidy funds available to residents who have solar panels installed. This is completely region specific, so check with your regional authorities.
  • A favorable loan  : Finally, you are offered the possibility of applying for an   energy loanThen you borrow the amount you need for your solar panels and pay it back at a low interest rate and in good condition. Of course you cannot use this money for anything else.


Return on investment and payback time

Since you are going to use solar panels to offset the energy your air conditioners will use, there is not really a certain efficiency. The payback period also expires in this way, because you don’t save, but break even. In order to benefit from your solar panels in other ways, of course, you need to make sure that the air conditioners have the lowest possible energy label. Today, air-to-air heat pumps are offered that are particularly energy efficient. If you then have a somewhat larger solar panel installation installed, it can generate more electricity than you need to heat and cool your home. That way, you will still get annual savings and can use this to pay for your solar panels.


The advantages and disadvantages of air conditioners as heating.

Air conditioners may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re looking for a way to heat your home. Radiant floors and murals are also very suitable, as well as central heating with a solar boiler or heat pump. Today there are also pellet stoves and biomass boilers that heat water with cheap residual waste and not with expensive gas. However, air conditioners have a number of advantages and these may be the deciding factor in your choice of this option. The downsides may warrant that you choose another option. In any case, we have already listed them here for you.

  • Air conditioners allow you to keep your entire home at a constant temperature. They can heat in winter and cool in summer. If you are planning this, be sure to purchase a unit with adequate wattage for the size of the room.
  • Air conditioners also allow you to control the climate in your home. They will provide a constant supply of fresh air and maintain humidity levels.
  • Because air conditioners in the Netherlands have yet to make their way, and because they are still primarily a seasonal product, you can often buy them in winter for a considerably lower price.


  • An air conditioner may not use gas, but it does use electricity. You make up for this with your solar panels, but it’s not really a very sustainable solution.
  • As the hot and cold air begins to flow, you will begin to feel drafts and jerks in air-conditioned rooms.
  • Air conditioners are quite expensive. For an outdoor unit with 6 indoor units connected, you pay an average of € 6000.


What you really need to know: maintaining and inspecting your air conditioner

Because air conditioners contain refrigerant, you are sometimes required to have it inspected by a certified specialist. Refrigerant is dangerous and only someone with the proper training can work with it. How often you need to do this depends on the type of air conditioner you have purchased, so your supplier can tell you exactly this. You can usually enter into a maintenance contract with them directly. They will then visit you periodically to check your air conditioner for clogs, leaks, and clogged filters.

 If necessary, the filters are replaced or cleaned completely. This is important, because these filters allow the air that you eventually breathe through. Most people also have the air conditioner inspected immediately during this maintenance and the refrigerant replenished if necessary. That way, you can be sure that your air conditioner will always be safe. Between these visits, you can also do the maintenance yourself by cleaning the filters. If you do this every two months, your air conditioner will always provide fresh, clean air.


Heating with the highest possible energy efficiency

There are many prejudices about air conditioners and that is why many people decide not to buy. For example, air conditioners can make you feel cold and sick. In fact, these complaints are well founded, but they stem from the malfunction of the device and not from disease. If you want to experience the most constant temperature possible and the lowest possible power consumption, please follow the instructions below.

  • Turn on the air conditioner on time, even if it is still not hot outside. If the air conditioner heats up the room before the hottest time of day, you don’t have to work as hard to maintain it.
  • Never set the air conditioning below 23 degrees in the summer, because lower temperatures are not feasible. The air conditioner works with a thermostat and if the temperature you have set is not reached, it is constantly running at full capacity. It is also not advisable to lower the temperature to quickly cool the house. This is where cold symptoms come from.
  • Your air conditioning thermostat will go haywire if you open the windows while it’s running. Due to the temperature differences caused by this, the thermostat cannot correctly estimate how many degrees it is in the house. Because your air conditioners already cool the air indoors, you don’t need to open the windows. You are actually taking the work out of the air conditioning.


Interesting tips to save

A few more tips to keep your solar panel air conditioning costs under control.

  • Winter  : air conditioners are seasonal products, so you can get them with great discounts in winter.
  • Collective  – If you sign up for a solar panel collective, you can sometimes buy complete installations at a good discount.
  • Plugs or second hand  : There are also air conditioning plugs where you can buy them at a discount. Always look at the second-hand market, because you never know what you can get there.

This is basically what you need to know if you are interested in installing solar panels to run your air conditioner.

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