How well your solar heating system works and performs really depend on several factors. One of course is the quality of your system, your system design and the installation. When you’re ready to have solar heating system installed, be sure to check with the installer. You want to get several quotes and ask for references. Their experiences really matter in how well they can install the system. Talk to other customers.
Once the system is successfully installed, don’t forget the annual maintenance. It’d be the best to use the same contractor who installed it in the first place to maintain the system. That’s another reason to find a good and experienced installer in the first place.
If you’re thinking of installing active solar heating systems or are just wondering about its true benefits, all I know is that it is the most cost-effective when they are used for most of the year. Which means that you need to have good solar resources. AZ, for example, will be a good place to have solar heating. If you currently use electricity, propane, and oil heat to heat your house, solar heating system will make the cost go much lower. You might be able to receive sales tax exemptions, income tax credits or deductions from your state government also.
It’s true that the system will not come cheap. The cost of an active solar heating system starts from $30 to $80 per square foot of collector area installed. But your fuel bills will be reduced so much even just in the first month. You can even use it to heat water and to generate electricity. If you’re also environmentally responsible, it will reduce air pollution and greenhouse gases. So if you know that you’ll stay in the house for a long time, then invest in a system.
There are two basic types of active solar heating systems. One is liquid-based system that heats water or an antifreeze solution in a “hydronic” collector. The other one is air-based systems heat air in an “air collector.”
Even though these two systems differ in their fluid types, both of them collect and absorb solar radiation, then transfer the solar heat directly to the interior space or to a storage system, from which the heat is distributed.
Usually, in home heating, these systems might not be able to provide enough space heating, an auxiliary or back-up system provides the additional heat. Often time, the liquid system is more used when storage is included, and is better suited for radiant heating systems, boilers with hot water radiators, and even absorption heat pumps and coolers. If you have forced air systems, both air and liquid systems are great supplements.
Did you know that active solar heating system that is used all year long is the most cost effective? However, if you live in a cold climate but receive limited sunlight, or if you live in a very warm climate, an active solar heating system will not work well. We all know how expensive the heating oil is, and they fluctuate with the oil price. Other sources such as electricity, propane, natural gas are all more expensive than solar systems. If you’re looking to install solar heating system, check with your state. Some states offer sales tax exemptions, income tax credits or deductions, and property tax exemptions or deductions for solar energy systems.
It is definitely true the cost of an active solar heating system is high and caries from places to places. Commercial systems range from $30 to $80 per square foot of collector area, installed. Usually, the larger the system, the less it costs per unit of collector area.
One thing for sure is that heating your home with an active solar energy system can significantly reduce your fuel bills in the winter. A solar heating system will also reduce the amount of air pollution and greenhouse gases that result from your use of fossil fuels such as oil, propane, and natural gas for heating or that may be used to generate the electricity that you use.
If you live in the right climate for an active solar heating system, check with the supplier and installer and find out whether cost will be offset by the savings. It will certainly save you money, but you need to find out how many years it’ll take you to recoup the cost. Also if you might move in a few years, particularly in an uncertain economic time, you might take that into consideration.