Solar energy has been used for centuries to provide warmth and to make plants grow. Solar heat panels can be used to collect the heat from solar energy. You can use the heat collected from solar energy to heat air or water for use in your home.
Solar energy is a clean, renewable energy that is readily available in all but the darkest of areas. Solar heat panels can be used to heat air and water for use in your home. If you apply a pump or fan to the panels, you can create a system that moves hot air or water where you need it. Water heated from solar panels can heat pools or hot tubs. The hot water can also be pumped into the house and heated by an indoor water heater for washing dishes, bathing, showering and other household uses.
According to the Solar Energy Technologies Programs, solar panels usually last about 12 to 15 years. Though the initial setup cost involved in putting together a solar heating panel system can be large, the cost savings over the life of the panels will greatly reduce your energy consumption. Properly used, solar heating panels can supply up to 80 percent of your home’s air and water heating needs.
Must be Supplemented
If you live in an area where the sun may go dim or be covered by clouds for a long period of time, you will need to have a supplemental system for heating during periods of low sun. Areas that may be particularly in need of a supplemental heating system include areas where the weather is very cold and may require a lot of energy to heat. Areas near the north and south pole which experience extended day and night periods are also most in need of supplementation if they use solar heating.
Because of the equipment involved in setting up a solar heat system, the costs can be high. Solar heat panels require a lot of space, and you may need a building permit depending on the size of the construction project involved with building the solar panels. In addition, the mechanisms used to flow the heat to where it is needed are an added expense. In total, a viable heat panel setup can cost you around $8,000 to $10,000. Newer technologies in solar panels may offer a cheaper setup cost after the technologies are developed.
To offset the initial cost of building solar heat panels, many government agencies offer grants and tax credits to homeowners who construct alternative-energy sources. Most of these programs are offered by state or county. Check with your state or the U.S. Department of Energy website to see if any grants or other incentive programs apply to you.
The Homeowner’s Guide to Renewable Energy:
Achieving Energy Independence through Solar, Wind, Biomass and Hydropower
by Dan Chiras