Sun Lizard Solar Air Shifter -- Frequently Asked Questions
Performance & Durability Functionality & Aesthetics Air Quality Cost Installation & Distribution Testimonals and installed examples Ordering, Purchasing and Shipping Certification & Warranty Questions General Home Energy Efficiency
PERFORMANCE & DURABILITY
How much air flow can I expect from the System?
The air flow rate of the Air shifter is 6m3/min produced by 4 solar
powered fans. This is sufficient to transfer air from one room
to up to two rooms simultaneously.
Do I need additional heating if a Sun Lizard is installed?
The Sun Lizard Air Shifter extends the reach and effectiveness of
existing heating and cooling systems, as well as reducing the
need to use them. However, the Sun Lizard should not be solely
relied as the only source of heating and cooling. If you have
an existing heating or cooling system, you will find that you won’t
need to use it as often as the Air Shifter will consistently keep
the whole building at a more even temperature. If you live in
a new building without any existing heating or cooling system in
place, you may be able to reduce the size of more traditional heating
or cooling systems, depending on the solar efficiency of your building
design. Small radiant/convection panel heaters such as Econoheat's
Electric Panel Heaters only use from 200 watts to 425 watts depending
on size and may be sufficient for your needs.
The 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 more successfully?
If the negative assessment report is due to poor insulation or thermal
mass, then you should consider adding insulation and sealing
up gaps around doors and windows.
For more detailed information also see www.yourhome.gov.au
Will it work on cloudy, rainy days?
The Sun Lizard needs some sunlight to work if you are purely relying
on solar electricity to generate the air movement through solar
electricity. 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 at a slower pace and will not be
at the standard speed as if it was a clear sky. If it is
dark and cloudy or raining heavily, the Sun Lizard
will not be operating. If the Sun Lizard is using a mains powered
backup system the solar energy will be augmented by mains power
whenever necessary to maintain the air flow rate.
How does it work when there is no sunlight?
At night the solar functions stop working. However
if you have the optional mains backup connected, it can continue
to move air around your building using mains power.
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 Quick Suitability Assessment for more details.
How long will it last?
The PV Panel has a 10 year warranty and an expected life of at
least 25 years. The fans and electronics have a 2 year warranty,
and an expected life of 5-10 years or longer depending on
the location and local conditions. Click here for more details
on our warranties.
Will it rust if I live near salty water?
All metals will eventually deteriorate in salty conditions. We
have used materials that are suitable for seaside installations,
but you should check with your builder or a local plumber to ensure
that it will survive your local conditions.
Is it cyclone proof? Will it blow
off my roof?
When securely fixed to the roof structure, the Air Shifters are
extremely robust and should easily survive severe weather conditions. If
your area is prone to severe weather you should use a local installer
who is familiar with the conditions. It is the installer’s
responsibility to ensure that the installation is secure.
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 Lizard. Switch
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). The
batteries are likely to last 8-10 years and may continue to function
after this. If you believe there may be a fan problem contact
us for more details.
FUNCTIONALITY & AESTHETICS
Is there an off button?
Yes you can switch it off. However, the Sun Lizard is designed
to operate every day using free solar energy to evenly distribute
the air in your building. Even if you feel the building is
the right temperature, we recommend that you switch the fans to
low rather than off, which will continue to provide a small amount
of air movement and will maintain the current temperature.
Is there a switch to reverse the air flow? No.
The fans are one direction only.
Is there a thermostat?
The current Sun Lizard Air Shifter does not use a thermostat.
How many ducts (inlet and outlet) can I have? How many rooms
can it do?
The Air Shifter can have a maximum of two inlets and two outlets
at one time. The possible combinations include:
One inlet and one outlet (supplied in the standard system)
One inlet and two outlets (standard system + one additional room
Two inlets and one outlet (standard system + one additional room
Two inlets and two outlets (standard system + two additional room
Can I integrate it with my current ducted system?
This is not recommended. The solar function may operate against
your existing system unless carefully designed and integrated.
Will the temperature of the air be adversely affected if I pass
the air on top of the roof where the system is exposed?
The system will be able to retain the temperature of the air as
ducts will be insulated to a value of R1 and a colorbond roof protector
should be provided at installation to protect it from the elements.
Will it look too obtrusive on my roof?
In most cases you will not see the Sun Lizard on your roof. The
only component likely to be seen is the PV Panel which will generally
be lying flat on your roof. It is only when the system cannot
be installed in a roof cavity that some components may need to
be on top of the roof. (see pictures on .. page)
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 transfer air from or too is insufficient, then you
can add a second unit or other combinations.
What are the restrictions on ducting length? Try to minimise the ducting length as much as possible as it will
allow better efficiency in air transfer and allow the temperature
of the air to be maintained. We advise that the total length of ducting
inclusive of all inlet and outlet ducts be kept to 12m.
What about noise?
The new version has virtually eliminated any fan noise due to the
acoustic design and additional foam insulation. If installed
according to the recommendations in the Installation Guide, you
should not 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, which is still a lot quieter than most traditional
heating and cooling systems.
Can I install air shifter on the wall or have it suspended in
Yes you can have the fan box installed on a wall or suspended inside
the roof. Depending on whether it is exposed, it may need a colorbond
cover and extra insulation to maintain the temperature of the air
being transferred to and from the rooms.
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 building, 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. No external air enters the
room via the Sun Lizard.
Does the Sun Lizard affect humidity?
The Sun Lizard does not change the humidity in the building. However,
by circulating the air and making the building temperature at a
comfortable level, it stops the build up of damp or humidity.
INSTALLATION & 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?
You can fill in the Suitability Self Assessment Test and
this will give you a good picture of your homes 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,
unless you wish to access mains power backup, in which case you
need access to a power point. If there is no convenient existing
power point, an additional power point must be installed by a qualified
If I have a cathedral ceiling or a flat roof or deck roof will
it still work in my home or building? Flat roof or cathedral
ceilings require the installation of external ducting on the roof,
where the external temperature may affect the temperature of the
air being shifted. This effect is minimised
by careful planning: locate the inlets and outlets to minimise the
length of external duction, and also weatherproof and insulate the
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.
I WANT TO SEE ONE , Testimonials
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 Sun Lizards.
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 it 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.
COST, ORDERING, PURCHASING & SHIPPING QUESTIONS
What is the cost of the Sun Lizard Air Shifter?
The cost of a Sun Lizard Solar Air Shifter unit is $795 plus installation.
How much does it cost to install on my home?
Installation costs can range from about $200 to $500 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 $20 to
around $120. It is manufactured and dispatched from the outer eastern
suburbs of Melbourne.
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. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
to add your name to a petition to get rebates for solar heating
What is the payback period?
If you are planning to integrate the Sun Lizard into a new climate
control system for your home or building, the payback is immediate
- because having the Sun Lizard means that you only need to purchase
smaller capacity heating and cooling appliances. The total cost,
with Sun Lizard, will be about the same or less than without
the Sun Lizard. If you have an existing climate control system,
the payback period will vary from 3-10 years, 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 itPlease see our Comparison Tablesfor
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
CERTIFICATION & WARRANTIES
Does the Sun Lizard have any certification, rating or is under
BASIX or 5 Star?
The Sun Lizard is a new generation product and is unique in Australia. 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 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.
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