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Solar House Heating

Solar power is one of the cleanest sources of energy available. Recent technological advancements seem to indicate that we're heading toward mass adoption of this type of renewable energy. Currently, solar power is available to home owners in various ways, mainly through Photovoltaic panels (PV) and solar house heating. A solar house heating system is designed to reduce the need for conventional water heating by about two thirds, according to an estimate by the U.S. Department of Energy. Therefore it impacts positively on our dependency on fossil fuel and conventional electricity and mitigates a household's impact on the environment.

Usually, solar house heating systems have two parts: a solar collector and a storage tank. The collector heats the water and the heated water is held in the storage tank, ready for use. A conventional system co-exists with the solar system in order to provide any additional heating, when necessary.

There are active and passive solar house heating systems. The former use electric pumps and controllers to circulate water. The latter rely on gravity and water’s natural tendency to circulate when heated. These are more reliable (due to the absence of electrical components), easy to maintain and they tend to last longer. The good news is that technology is constantly evolving in this field. These days, solar house heating systems are often efficient and reliable.

Besides helping the environment, solar house heating systems can also provide a source of financial savings. The U.S. Energy Policy Act implemented a 30% tax credit for consumers who install solar water heating systems. To quality for this tax break, the systems must be certified by the Department of Energy's non-profit partner, the Solar Rating & Certification Corporation (SRCC). However, in Florida and Hawaii residents can use their area's own certification programs.