Are you dreading winters because of the high utility bills you’ll have to pay in return for keeping your house warm solar operations and maintenance and cozy? In this day and age, we need fuel and electricity to keep all our household essentials and tech devices running. For this reason, heating and electricity bills continue to make a hole in our pocket.
But, what if tell you that there is an alternative source of power that can reduce your electricity bills drastically? Fortunately, the sun is a free and reliable alternative source for generating solar power. It is an inexhaustible source of energy that can be harnessed to fulfill all our daily power and heating needs. This is why many people are turning towards solar air heating systems to beat the dropping temperature during the winter season.
So, let us take a look at how one can go solar and use solar air heating systems to heat the house during winters.
What is a solar air heater?
A solar air heater is an active system as compared to a passive solar system. Passive solar systems are usually the heat absorbing structural materials used during construction and building orientation that takes advantage of the sun rays. On the other hand, an active solar system like a solar air heater is used to collect solar energy from the sun and uses this energy to supplement heat to your existing heating system.
Keep in mind; a solar air heater can work as a booster to your existing heating system and cannot replace it.
A solar air heater works on the simple concept that warm air rises and cool air sinks. The solar air heater sucks the cooled air from the bottom of the room and passes it through the solar collector where it warmed up again. The warmed air is the then blown back into the room.
Types of the solar air heater
Two types of solar air heating units are common in homes. The first one is an outdoor-type panel that collects air from within your home. This cold air is passed through a heat-gathering panel that is mounted outside facing the sun. Once the cool air has been warmed up, it is then blown back into the house. This panel is attached outside the house. All you need is two 4-inch holes to pass the inflow and outflow ducts, and a small fan to move air through the circulation chambers. Standard 120-volt power will also be required.
A second type is a window-mounted unit that doesn’t need any retrofitting or holes cut into the walls of the house. You can easily fix it into a standard window opening. The unit contains inflow and outflow vents and a thermostatically controlled fan. These types of units work well for heating small rooms, such as the bedroom. However, the only downside of a window-mounted solar air heater is that they are dark-colored to absorb heat so they might block the daylight from coming into the room.
Benefits of using a solar air heater:
1- Saves gas and electricity costs
Installing a solar air heating unit is a one-time investment. Once you are done paying the initial installation costs, you can heat your home for free! The best part is that you don’t have to wait for a long time to recoup your investment. All it takes is around three to six years, and the money you will save in electricity or gas consumption will pay back for your solar air heater investment!
2- Reduces air pollution
Global warming is increasing drastically all over the world, and it is high time that we play our part in saving the environment. Harvesting, processing, and burning of fossil fuels for heating results in deterioration of climatic landscape.
Small changes in our lifestyle, such as switching to solar power for heating, helps reduction of air pollution and energy consumption.
3- Beneficial for health
You must have witnessed thick smog, especially during the winter months. The constant burning of fossil fuels to heat homes and buildings increases air pollution. Smog can put you at risk for respiratory problems, asthma attacks, and even cancer.
Using a solar air heating unit is a solution that not only benefits your health but also keeps you safe from toxic pollutants.
Every home is designed differently, and the climatic conditions of cities vary from place to place. This is why you can’t predict that how much money will a solar air heater shave off your heating bill.
For a solar heat unit to work well, make sure that your house is well insulated. A poorly sealed hose won’t save much energy because solar heated air leaks out very quickly as compared to conventionally heated air. Make sure you get your solar heat unit serviced regularly from a company that deals in solar operations and maintenance. Solar air heaters work best in areas that face long, cold and sunny winter months.
Solar air heaters are a form of supplemental energy they won’t replace electricity or natural gas completely. But if you follow the techniques mentioned above, you can make it work and save up to $300 a year or more per year.
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