The sun provides us with an unlimited amount of reusable energy. Solar heating is becoming more popular among environmentally conscious homeowners and those who are plain sick and tired of overpriced utility bills.
Solar heating can be used to heat both a home and the home's water. In order for solar energy to heat water, a flat-plate solar collector is needed. A solar collector sits in a thermally insulated box absorbing incoming solar radiation and transforms it into heat. The heat flows through the solar collector and into the water storage tank heating up the water.
A typical solar hot water system will reduce your home's need for a conventional water heating system by approximately two thirds. In many cases, the solar heater connects to a home's existing water heater, so when the solar water heater isn't providing adequate water temperature, the conventional water heating system turns on to provide support.
It's not difficult to use solar energy to heat your home. There are two types of solar heating systems, called passive and active, and you can use one or both combined.
Passive solar heating is using the design of your house to maximize the sun's heat. Design elements include large, south-facing windows, and using materials that absorb the sun's heat and release it at night when it gets cooler.
Active solar heating is the process of collecting the sun's energy, as is found in solar water heating. Collectors use either air or liquid to absorb the sun's energy and then distribute the heat through the house with fans or pumps.
Most homeowners combine the energy and heat gathered through solar systems in combination with more traditional heating systems, such as electric or gas. If the weather doesn't cooperate, and the sun doesn't provide enough energy, a furnace or space heater can be used to make up for it.
Solar heat is great because it's a consistently renewable resource and costs less for continued use. The installation of solar collectors can initially be costly, but that cost can be recuperated in just a couple years of use, especially if you use the energy to cool your home, as well.
You can feel confident knowing that you're using a clean and efficient energy source to maintain your home's comfort.