is arguably the best solution to most of our energy problems, but it isn't catching up as fast as solar advocates would like. Why is this? It is probably because homeowners are still unaware of how easy it is to make the switch to solar and of the cost benefits of solar energy. These 7 ways to save with solar show you how to start saving money now by making use of solar energy.
1. Passive Solar Pool Heating
One of the cheapest ways to start saving with solar if you have a pool or spa is by installing a pool cover
. Even an ordinary pool blanket will help the pool retain heat and a specially designed solar blanket will do an even better job. As an added bonus, the cover will help keep your pool clean and save you time and money on pool maintenance costs at the same time it dramatically reduces your pool heating costs.
2. Active Solar Pool Heating
Yes, it costs more than a pool blanket, but consider looking into the advantages of an active solar pool heating system. These systems require the installation of solar panels, but once that's done, it can be used all year to heat your pool water. Some pool heating
companies offer complete heating solutions, combining gas or electric systems with solar. These can pay for themselves in energy savings in just a few years and can save you money for decades to come.
3. Passive Solar Home Heating
A cheap way to heat your home is with a passive solar home heating system that makes use of the warm air that collects in the space between your ceiling and your roof. A simple, low voltage fan pumps this air back into the house. In a warm climate, it may be all you need to keep your home warm in the evening and if you still need a conventional heating system, it can dramatically reduce your home heating costs.
4. Passive Solar Home Design
There are dozens of ways to make the best use of the sun if you plan ahead with your architect
or building designer
when designing your home. Positioning of the home, materials used in construction, strategic placement of windows and other design details need not cost extra, but can save thousands of dollars in both heating and cooling costs over the lifetime of your home.
5. Solar Hydronic Heating
Hydronic heating may be the wave of the future in home heating. In a hydronic system, water is heated exclusively or primarily in a tube system on the roof. It is then stored in a tank until it is needed and then circulated through radiators or a floor slab heating system. Finally, the water is recirculated through the heating system, so little if any water is wasted and the use of electric or gas energy for heating is minimised or eliminated. Solar hydronic heating can also be used to minimise your water heating bill.
6. Solar Electricity
Solar systems are often used in remote areas to provide all the electricity a home needs on a normal basis, but as yet are not used nearly as much as they could be in suburban and urban areas. With government rebates and incentives available in many areas, the cost of installing a solar system can be very affordable and the savings in your energy bill dramatically reduced. In some areas of Australia, you can now have your solar energy connected to the power grid and actually receive energy credits for your excess solar power.
7. Solar Air Conditioning
Just as gas or electricity is used for refrigeration and air conditioning, a solar air conditioning
system can heat or cool your home. Air conditioning is one of the biggest drains on energy in the summer months and everyone who uses conventional air conditioning notices a dramatic rise in their energy bills in summer. Those who have switched to solar or solar-assisted air conditioning, however, hardly feel the pinch at all.