The biggest cost involved when switching to solar power is buying the solar panels used to generate electricity to power your home's heating system. The cost of a solar powered system varies greatly depending on the size of your home and its energy needs. However, once you have made this initial investment, there is virtually no maintenance and the system will last for many years beyond the point at which you recoup your investment. You can also build your own solar panel for additional cost savings.
When you use solar energy you are looking at savings anywhere from 25% to 100% of your usual energy bill. If you use a small solar home heating system you will save a percentage of your energy bill every month. If you install a large system that generates enough energy to heat your entire home all of the time, you will save 100% of your heating bill and will never have to rely on outside energy again. Because solar panels typically last for at last 25 to 30 years, you will get many years of free power after you have saved enough on energy costs to cover the initial investment of your solar heating system.
Other alternatives are geothermal or radiant heat systems. These systems use a ground source heat pump that takes heat from below ground and transfers it into your home. During the summer, it works in reverse to cool your home. The ground is a constant temperature of 50 to 60 degrees Farenheit (about 10 to 16 degrees Celsius), a few feet below ground. A heat pump is used to force the transfer of heat from the ground. Loops of piping are buried at this depth and connected to the heat pump. Water and antifreeze are circulated through the system and absorb this heat which is then transferred into warm air through a refrigeration process. Like solar home heating, geothermal systems recoup their cost in a few years and then provide heat at substantial savings for years to come.
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