How solar heating systems work
Implementing a residential solar heating system can potentially save you thousands of dollars in energy costs over the course of your home ownership. Not only does solar heating slash your power bills, it can also dramatically raise the resale value of your house, all while drawing on a renewable, clean and safe form of energy.
It's easiest to install solar heating panels when you're building a new home, but older homes can also be retrofitted to include solar heat technology. However, there are several important factors you need to consider to accurately assess whether home solar heating is viable for you and whether the investment will be worth it in the long run, as solar heating systems can be pricey to install.
Home Solar Heating: Factors to Consider
Unlike eco-friendly alternatives such as radiant floor heating, the climate in which you live is a major point to consider when dealing with solar power. Residential solar heating systems make the most sense if you live somewhere with a heating season that is both long and relatively sunny, and you'll get the most bang for your buck if your electricity rates are also above the national average. People living in cloudy regions and warmer climates with shorter heating seasons won't benefit as much from home solar heating.
You also have to pay close attention to the site where you intend to place your solar panels. Ideally, your roof should be exposed to direct sunlight for at least six hours a day. Any less and your system won't run as efficiently and it will take you longer to recover your initial investment in the form of energy savings. Solar panels can also be set up on the ground, but this will also eat into your system's efficiency and raise its cost.
Residential Solar Heating Options
In addition to solar space heating systems, you can also get solar hot water heaters and solar pool heaters to help reduce your overall energy costs. These systems are designed to supplement conventional electricity supplies rather than function as primary energy sources.
Regardless of the intended application of your solar heater, these systems have the potential to dramatically reduce the financial impact of your home energy bills while helping to build a greener tomorrow. Performing a home energy audit and carefully researching your options will help you determine whether or not switching to solar power is feasible for you.