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Solar Heating

DEFINITION

Heating system that utilizes the energy of the sun and converts it into usable energy for properties.

EXPLANATION

The increase in modern technology has led to advancements in heating and cooling. Solar heating has become a popular choice for consumer heating and cooling needs. There are two common forms of solar heating. The two forms of solar are passive solar and active solar systems.

The most common form of solar power is solar heating panels. Through the California Solar Initiative which took effect in 2008, local governments have created programs geared at bringing down the costs of purchasing solar energy through subsidies paid out to solar companies. In effect, the government pays for part of a homeowners solar panel purchase. To find out more information about solar incentive programs visit www.gosolarcalifornia.ca.gov/csi. The government also promotes the solar industry by offering rebates, tax incentives, and discounts. Consumers can expect discounts of nearly 30% towards the purchase of solar panels through the use of vouchers, government programs, and factory rebates.

Another common form of solar energy is passive solar. An example of passive solar is the use of heat absorbing materials such as certain tiles or sunlight coming through the windows of a home. Any product that acts as heat absorbing material is considered passive solar.

The Pros of Active Solar Heating Systems

Active solar heating  proves to be the most cost-effective when implemented  somewhere with a particularly colder climate. Due to the colder weather in these specific regions, many homes, businesses and structures use costly heating methods such as oil, propane, and electricity.  To promote the use of these sustainable solar heating systems, there are a number of states who will offer benefits such as price reductions for solar energy systems, property tax exemptions, sales tax exemptions and even income tax reductions.

The Cons of Active Solar Heating Systems

While an active solar heating system can provide a multitude of pros in terms of sustainability and cost-effectiveness, these upsides can also depend on factors that may be out of the owners hands. For example, there are some homeowner associations who may not allow for solar panels to be installed on certain areas of a house due to certain rules being in place.

Climate also has a large impact on the overall effectiveness of installing one of these heating systems as the amount of sunlight that is shed on the panels is vital. To reap the benefits of an active solar heating system, it must provide at least 40% of a home’s heat in order to be considered effective. Expecting one of these heating systems to provide all of the heat in a given space is unrealistic and impractical, while many mortgage lenders and building regulations require a back-up or reserve heating system anyways.

The Pros of Solar Energy As A Whole

Solar energy has emerged as a popular alternative to fossil fuels due to its sustainable nature. The sun itself is believed by many to burn for another few billion years while fossil fuels have been fading away over time.  There is around 10,000 times the amount of energy used in a day given off by the sun every 24 hours. Although solar energy technology has significantly advanced over the last few decades, this large amount of energy given off by the sun is yearning for the right technology to utilize its potential.

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