Traditional furnaces excel at providing comfortable heat for your home, but even the most efficient furnace consumes a considerable amount of energy in the process. If you're looking for an energy-efficient heating system for your home, now's a good time to step outside the box with an active solar energy heating system. Read on to learn how this system works and some of the benefits and drawbacks you can expect when installing and using one.
How Solar Heating Works
Just as the name implies, solar heating systems harness the sun's thermal energy to provide efficient and eco-friendly heat to your home. A typical active solar energy heating system uses a set of roof-mounted solar collector panels to absorb this energy. From there, the collected thermal energy can be transferred to your home using air or liquid as a medium.
Most air-source solar heating systems simply use air as a transfer medium. Warm air passes either through the solar collector panels or a heat recovery ventilator before being circulated throughout the entire home. Liquid-source solar heating systems use water or non-toxic propylene glycol to absorb and transfer thermal energy from the solar collectors. The liquid passes through a heat exchanger, allowing the thermal energy to be used to warm your home when needed.
Some liquid-source systems will store the heat energy in a large storage tank or expansion tank until the thermostat calls for heating. This also makes water-based solar heating systems ideal as hot water heaters for the rest of the home.
Pros and Cons to Consider
There are plenty of positive benefits to having a solar heating system for your home. The sun's thermal energy is a free resource and using this energy can help reduce your overall reliance on fossil fuels. You'll also reduce your annual heating and cooling costs, especially after the solar heating system pays for itself in just a few years. You can even increase your home's resale value by adding this energy-efficient form of heating.
However, there are also plenty of downsides to consider. The steep upfront costs of purchasing and installing a solar heating system can dissuade budget-minded homeowners. You'll also need a backup heating system for those times when your solar heating system can't shoulder your home's heating demands alone.
As with any other type of heating system, solar heating systems also require regularly scheduled maintenance. Climate can also play a significant role in your solar heating system's overall performance. Contact a heating installation service for more helpShare