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Solar Heating: Does it Pay Off?






     As energy prices steadily rise due to an increase in demand for fuel, many home owners are turning to alternative methods like solar heating to heat their homes during the winter months. Solar panels harness the power of the sun to produce electricity that can be used to heat homes and provide hot water. Since power from the sun is free, these panels can also help to lower electricity bills by offsetting some of the electricity that is provided by the electric company. However, some people wonder whether or not the price of solar heating is really worth it.

Integrating solar power into a home can be an expensive proposition, especially in older homes that are being retrofitted. Most of the expenses come at the front in, though, during the installation process. Purchasing the equipment and hiring professionals to install the panels represents the bulk of the expenses involved with implementing solar heating options in a home. Over the years, some maintenance will also need to be done, which includes changing battery storage units, inverters, and cleaning, however these expenses are minimal. In recent years, the government has also been offering tax credits for "green," energy efficient heating systems, which may help to offset some of the initial costs.

One of the most important factors in determining whether or not solar power is worth it is the geographical location of the home and the climate of the region. Solar heating works best in areas that are at lower latitudes and closer to the equator, where the sun shines down more intensely during the winter. At higher latitudes, the sun is only out for a few hours at a time, which defeats the purpose of having solar heating in the first place since no light is available to create electricity.

The second factor that contributes to the usefulness of solar power in a particular house is how the electric company charges. Homeowners that live in areas where the utility company charges different night and day rates benefit most from solar power since the panels only work during the day. People who are charged a flat rate will still see some reduction in their bill, but less than those that are charged hour specific rates. Also, it is possible in some areas to actually sell electricity that is produced through solar panels back to the power company, which can help to reduce bills.

Finally, adding solar power to a home can increase its value. As more people are trying to be energy efficient, "green" alternatives are hot selling points that are very attractive to buyers. Not only this, but the panels themselves are likely to be new, which can help to sell a house since potential buyers know that the heating units and panels will not need to be changed or updated any time in the near future.

Is installing solar heating into a home worth the money? In short, the answer is that it depends on a variety of factors like geography, utility pricing, and how long a homeowner decides to live in the house.




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Posted on 2011-01-12, By: *

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Note: The content of this article solely conveys the opinion of its author,


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