Almost 60 percent of the energy used in the typical U.S. home is dedicated to heating and cooling. As the supply of traditional energy sources becomes limited and the annual cost of utilities rise, homeowners are looking for viable alternatives. If you’re looking for an efficient means of conserving energy while saving money, solar heating may be the option for you.
Solar heating offers many benefits to homeowners. By using sunlight to provide up to 50 percent of your energy, it not only saves you in utility costs, it provides you with a source of energy that is clean, reliable, renewable, and free. It can also increase the value of your home. According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, for every $1 saved on annual utility bills, home values increase an average of $20. In addition, the U.S. federal government, along with states such as Oregon, offers incentives such as tax credits for renewable-energy systems. Even your local utility company may have incentives in place.
Before you can enjoy the benefits of solar heating, you must first determine the feasibility of using solar energy to heat your home. Factors to consider include location and adequate exposure to sunlight. On average, Portland receives as much solar energy as any other city. Of course, southern exposure is ideal, but not always necessary. East- and west-facing roofs can work just as well depending on the slope of the roof’s construction. Your roof must also be large enough to accommodate solar modules. Each module requires 15 square feet of surface area, making the size of your roof an important factor in determining your home’s potential for solar heating. Other factors to consider include: electrical and utility requirements; building restrictions; and obstructions such as chimneys, buildings, or trees.
For the most accurate assessment of your home, consult a professional. Not only will they be able to assist you in determining your home’s eligibility for solar heating, they can also provide you an estimate of your home’s potential for solar energy generation. Let the experts at Roth Heating & Cooling, Plumbing & Electrical help you make an educated decision.