You may have noticed in recent years that more homes have solar collectors on them for solar heating purposes. This type of system can supplement a forced-air HVAC system using clean energy to warm the interior of a home.
Liquid-Based Solar Heating
A liquid-based heating system uses solar liquid collectors, flat-plate collectors, evacuated tubes or concentrating collectors to capture the sun’s heat. A pump moves the fluid through the collector and into a storage tank or heat exchanger. You can use this type of active solar heating for central forced-air systems, hot water radiators or baseboards, or radiant floor systems.
Solar Air Heater
To heat one or two rooms, use a special glazed plate that absorbs the sun’s heat and warms the air in a collector. A fan or blower draws in air from the room, passes it through the collector and blows warm air back into the room.
Solar Heating Considerations
- Laws, HOA rules and building codes: Before you look into solar heat systems, verify that your city and/or homeowner’s association allows this type of installation. Some don’t allow protrusions on roofs or systems that are too close to lot boundaries or streets. Some building codes have standards regarding heat exchanger types, roof loads, tampering with potable water supplies, and wiring.
- Roof age: Because a solar system is a long-term investment, your roof needs to be in good shape. Ideally, the roof should be 10 years old or less. If you think you’ll need to replace your roof in the next few years, consult with your trusted solar installer about whether to move up the roof replacement or hold off on the solar installation.
- Roof type: Solar panels or collectors are not appropriate for all roof types. The best roofing materials include asphalt shingle, metal and rubber tile.
- Shade: If your home has a lot of tree coverage, your property may not be a good fit for a solar system.
- Space: The top of your roof must have enough space on the sides that face south, east or west for the panels or collectors.
To learn more about solar heating and if your property eligible for this eco-friendly option, please contact us at Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning. We’ve served Fresno and the surrounding area for 40 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Fresno, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about solar heating and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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