Sun Lizard Climate Control System -- Frequently Asked Questions
Performance & Durability
Functionality & Aesthetics
Installation & Distribution
Seeing One, Testimonials
Cost, Ordering, Purchasing & Shipping
Certification & Warrant Questions
General Home Energy Efficiency
Performance & Durability
Do I need additional heating if a Sun
Lizard is installed?
The Sun Lizard is generally
installed as a base load heating and cooling system. It operates
most days and stops your building getting too hot or too cold, thereby
improving the comfort level. In
an energy efficient home, you may not require another
heating or cooling device. If
you do have additional heating or cooling, the Sun Lizard will reduce
the load by keeping the house at a more comfortable initial temperature. For
instance, in many houses equipped with Sun Lizards, small radiant/convection
panel heaters such as Econoheat's 200-425 watt Electric Panel Heaters
sufficient for your needs.
In the a grid power failure,
the Sun Lizard will continue
to provide heating or cooling as it requires no mains power.
building suitability assessment says that my house is not suitable,
what simple things can I do to my home that will make the Sun Lizard work
If the negative assessment report is due to poor insulation or thermal
mass, you should seriously consider adding insulation and sealing
up gaps around doors and windows. For more detailed information also
Will it work on cloudy, rainy days?
The Sun Lizard needs
some sunlight to work. On overcast days
there is still sunlight coming through the clouds, but it is not
as strong. The Sun Lizard will
continue to operate, but the heating or cooling will not be as
good as if it was a clear sky. If
it is dark cloud or raining heavily, the Sun
Lizard generally will
not be operating.
How does it work when there is no sunlight?
At night the solar functions stop working. The Sun
Lizard can’t provide additional heating at night. However
if you have the optional mains backup connected, in summer it can
continue to draw heat out of your building.
Can it store the heat collected during
the day for use at night?
The Sun Lizard uses
your home as a thermal store. In winter
it pumps hot air in during the day and as long as you have adequate
insulation and thermal mass, the home will be warm in the evening. See
What if I don’t have that much sun
on my roof?
The Sun Lizard needs to get a minimum amount of sunlight to work,
generally at least 4-5 hours on average a day. If you don’t
get this minimum amount, then the Sun Lizard may not work for
See the Suitability
How long will it last?
The solar thermal collectors will last in excess of 25 years. The
PV Panel has a 10 year warranty but is likely to be working in
25 years. The fans and electronics have a 2 year warranty,
but typically should last 5-10 years or longer depending on the
location and local conditions.
Does it heat water or air?
The Sun Lizard products
are designed to heat and cool air only. They
are extremely efficient at this, but will not work with water. Solar
Hot Water systems are available from different manufacturers
Will it rust if I live near salty water?
All metals will eventually deteriorate in salty conditions. We
have used materials that are resistant to seaside installations,
but you should check with your builder or a local plumber to ensure
that it will survive your local conditions.
it cyclone proof? Will it blow
off my roof?
The Sun Lizard is extremely
robust. We have seen cars drive over them with
no damage. But
they need to be securely fixed to the roof structure in areas that
are prone to severe weather conditions. This is the responsibility
of the installer.
Do I need to maintain it?
There are no specific maintenance requirements. However,
from time to time you should check that the fans and batteries
are still functional. The fans can easily be checked because
if they fail there will be less air coming out of the Sun
from high to low speed to confirm there is a change in air volume
(note the noise on low will be a higher pitch than on high). If
you believe there may be a fan problem contact us for more details. The
batteries are likely to last 8-10 years and may continue to function
after this. If however you find that you cannot change from
heating to cooling the batteries may need to be changed. They
are attached to the Airflow Control Box and can be replaced easily.
Functionality and Aesthetics
Is there an off button?
The Sun Lizard is designed
to operate every day so there is not an off button. If you
feel the house is the right temperature, switch the fans to low
which will continue to provide a small amount of heating or cooling
and will maintain the current temperature.
Is there a thermostat?
The current Sun Lizard does
not use a thermostat. In winter
it is preferred to allow the Sun
Lizard to slightly overheat the
building during the day so it is warmer at night when the building
starts to cool down. In summer, ventilation and air movement
are essential in keeping you comfortable so the fans continue to
How do I know whether it is in heating or cooling mode?
The Control Panel displays the current mode when you touch the
How many ducts (inlet and outlet) can I have? How
many rooms can it do?
The Sun Lizard uses
ducting to transfer air around your home. However
it should be considered as a space heater, able to heat or cool
specific areas. As such we generally recommend having 1-2
ceiling return ducts and a single heating duct into the area to
be heated. It is possible to heat multiple spaces that are
joined by a common wall(s) by having openings in the ducting to
one or more rooms.
How many settings are on the unit?
The Control Panel has Heating/Cooling and High/Low as standard.
I integrate it with my current ducted system?
Generally it is not recommended to integrate it with your existing
system. This is because the collectors are on the roof
and at night, unless you have a system of gates to stop hot air
from your existing heating system going out to the collectors,
you will end up losing heat through them. It is usually
cheaper and easier to install the Sun
Lizard as a stand alone
system. If you are looking for an integrated system, read about
our solar heat collectors elsewhere on the site.
it look too obtrusive on my roof?
In most cases you will not see the Sun
Lizard on your roof. However
if you need to use a frame or if your home is down a hill and the
roof can be seen, then the Sun Lizard will be seen on your roof. But
the Sun Lizard is a
low profile box and is unobtrusive on most roofs. Click here for
What if my building is bigger than
what the unit can do? Can
I put more units in, hook them up in series?
If you have worked through the Suitability Assessment and the space
you want to heat and cool is bigger than the recommended size,
then you can add a second unit (single or dual collector) or other
combinations. It is also possible to create custom systems
if you have a specific application such as a large community building
or school. The Sun Lizards can
be hooked up in arrays of parallel or in series units to achieve
higher temperatures or airflow volumes.
The new version has virtually eliminated any fan noise due to the
acoustic design and additional foam insulation. If installed
as directed, you won't notice any noise at all. If
you place the fan box too close to the ceiling return vent and
have no insulation in your ceiling, you may notice a small noise
like a computer cooling fan, but a lot quieter than most traditional
heating and cooling systems.
Can I install it on a wall instead
of my roof?
Yes it is possible to install on a north facing wall.
What about the
air quality? Where does the air come from? Can
I take it from my ceiling cavity?
Unlike some other heating systems
that draw air from the ceiling cavity, the Sun
Lizard draws air from
inside your home, where it is reasonably clean. The air in
the ceiling cavity of many homes is very dusty and may have contaminants
from birds, rodents and fibreglass or asbestos. We don’t
recommend using air from this space for those reasons. The Sun
draws the air from the room at ceiling level and not from the roof
cavity. This is done by having an air vent located on the ceiling
which is attached to a duct. This duct passes through the roof cavity
carrying the air from the room to the Solar Heat Collector on top
of the roof. No air from the roof cavity is taken in through
this duct. The air drawn from the room at ceiling level is
usually warmer and cleaner as warmer air rises to the ceiling and
dust particles in the room often sink to floor level. The air
pumped from the sun lizard into the room is internal air taken inside
the room. No external air enters the room via the Sun
can be placed in the floor or wall registers where the warm air from
the Sun Lizard flows back
into the house.
Does the Sun Lizard affect
The Sun Lizard does
not change the humidity in the building. However,
by keeping the building temperature at a comfortable level, not
too hot or too cold and providing air movement, it stops the build
up of damp or humidity
What about risk of termite
treatments or other chemicals in the air if I’m taking air
from my sub-floor? What about the smells?
If using the subfloor space in a building, you should make an
assessment of the potential for chemical treatments. If there is adequate
ventilation under the building, the air should be clear. However
we highly recommend using appropriate filters on any floor boots
that draw in air from the subfloor. You can get various types
that will eliminate smells and other chemicals.
Are there any health
benefits in exposing the air to high heat and UV?
While no scientific study has been done on the Sun
Lizard in regard
to this, it is known that exposure to UV and high temperatures
will reduce the build up of bacteria, virus, mould and fungi. Ventilation
and air movement are also important in reducing damp areas that
allow the growth of mould and fungi in buildings.
What is the cost of the Sun Lizard?
The cost of a single collector Sun
Lizard unit is $2,750 and a
dual collector Sun Lizard is $3500 plus installation.
How much does it cost to install on my home?
Installation costs can range from about $200 to $1200 depending
on the structure of the house and whether you choose to install
it yourself or arrange for an installer or plumber to make the
How much is the cost of delivering a Sun Lizard to my home or
Depending on where you are in Australia it will vary from $60 to
around $350 for the single collector and $90 to $450 for the dual
Are there any rebates or subsidies available for the Sun Lizard?
Currently there are no rebates or other subsidies. From time
to time various government agencies have grants for installing
energy efficient products and the Sun Lizard qualifies for these. We
are presently working through the process of getting rebates and
would appreciate your support.
What is the payback period?
Payback on the Sun Lizard depends on a number of factors. These
include your existing heating and cooling system (gas/electric/reverse
cycle) and your home (how energy efficient is it). It also
depends on whether you are retrofitting and have therefore already
paid for your existing heating and cooling system or are putting
in a new system, in which case you can design and integrate the
Sun Lizard and another much smaller system much better into your
home. In this case you save money immediately on your up
front costs. Typically payback is around 3-10 years.
Installation and Distribution
What if I can’t find a distributor in the area that I live?
What if I can’t find someone to install the Sun Lizard for
It is quite easy to install and we provide an installation guide
on our website. If you choose to engage a local plumber we do provide
all the installation components. We would also be happy to work
with your local plumber and offer step by step instructions on
how to install a Sun Lizard.
How can I assess the suitability of the Sun Lizard in my home
or building? Can I get someone to do a site inspection?
The Sun Lizard Suitability form will
give you a good picture of your home's suitability. If
you are confident the Sun Lizard is going to work and need a quote
for installation, check out the distributor list
to find someone close to you who may be able to quote or offer
some good advice.
Can I do it myself or get my friend to install the Sun Lizard
on to my roof?
We recommend using a qualified tradesman to do the installation
so it is done professionally. However it is a relatively
simple installation and can be done by yourself. Please check
any local requirements or laws that need a qualified tradesman. As
the Sun Lizard doesn’t use mains power, only 12 volt from
the PV Panel, you don’t need an electrician to do the wiring.
If I have a cathedral ceiling or a flat roof
or deck roof will it still work in my home or building?
is a little more difficult with this type of roof, it only requires
a little planning to make it work just as effectively. To
avoid having long lengths of pipe or ducting on the roof, you need
to locate the inlet and outlet ducts close to the point the ducting
is going to go inside the building. Any ducting on the roof
needs to be weatherproof and insulated to avoid heat loss.
What if I have no cavity in my walls, can it still be ducted?
Yes you can run box duct on the outside of the wall, or ducting
inside a cupboard or wardrobe. It is just a personal preference
regarding aesthetics and location, but almost always there is
a place to run ducting
What if I have no roof space, can I still place one in?
The Sun Lizard is designed to sit on the roof. However, it
is possible to place the Sun Lizard on a wall or even on the ground
if no other suitable location can be found. There are minor
issues with other alternatives, but they can work.
I want to become a distributor or installer, how do I get involved?
We are always looking for enthusiastic distributors and qualified
tradespeople who are keen to promote sustainable products. Contact
us with your interest and experience. We provide
product information and installation training sessions around
Australia so will advise you when one will occur in your area.
What if I can’t see a working display
of a Sun Lizard in the area that I live in? Where can I find
See our showcase page for examples of installed
Most of our installations are invisible from the ground so are
not suitable for viewing. We also respect the privacy of
our customers and unless volunteered, we do not approach existing
customers asking for them to talk to prospective customers. However,
if you tell us which area you are in, we will try to find the location
of a display unit or installed unit that that the customer is happy
to show off to you.
What do other people think about your product? What are some
of the best things about the Sun Lizard people comment on? Why
would I want to by a Sun Lizard?
The most common thing people say is “What a fantastic idea” and “Why
hasn’t it been done before?” Existing customers
say they feel much more comfortable and their energy bills have
gone down. Many customers buy a Sun Lizard because they want
to reduce their energy consumption and bills, but also to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions and global warming.
Ordering, Purchasing and Shipping
How do I order?
Fill out the Quick
Suitability Form to
assess the best product for your needs. Then click on the order link
to take you to our order page.
How long will it take for the order to arrive?
Once you have placed an order, we confirm payment and delivery
details are correct and then ship with a few days. Generally
you can expect your Sun Lizard to arrive within 5-7 days from
How much will it cost to ship the order?
A quote for delivery will be given upon placing your order, but
in the range of $50-$350
Certification and Warranties
Does the Sun Lizard have any certification,
rating or is under BASIX?
The Sun Lizard is a new generation product and is unique in the
world. As such we are breaking new ground with standards,
certification and ratings. We are actively working with
various government and other agencies to deliver the best possible
products to you. As we receive various awards or certification,
we will publish these on our web site and on product specifications.
Is there any warranty on the Sun Lizard Unit?
The solar thermal collector has a 25 year warranty
The PV Panel has a 10 year warranty
The electronics and fans have a 2 year warranty
GENERAL HOME ENERGY EFFICENCY QUESTIONS
I want to make my home or building as
green as possible, who else can I talk to for more advice?
Depending on which area you live in, you could contact your state
environment department who can give you good, independent advice.
Federal contact www.environment.gov.au/ or
VIC contact Sustainability Victoria www.sustainability.vic.gov.au
NSW contact Department of Water and Energy www.deus.nsw.gov.au/index.asp
QLD contact Climate Smart QLD www.climatesmart.qld.gov.au/
ACT contact Office of Sustainability www.tams.act.gov.au/live/sustainability
SA contact Sustainable Living SA www.environment.sa.gov.au/sustainability/
WA contact Sustainability www.sustainability.dpc.wa.gov.au/
TAS contact Environment Division www.environment.tas.gov.au/
Architects & Recommendations
While most architects and building designers are trying to incorporate
energy efficiency and low impact into their designs, we highly
recommend doing your own research before signing off on your
building design. There are many good web sites such as www.yourhome.gov.au which
can make sure you have a great home that is also energy efficient.
If you need more information please mail or email us your question
and your contact details. We will reply as quickly as possible.