With just a little ingenuity, you can turn your roof into a solar space heater that will serve you well during the cold months. Solar space heating systems are a very cost effective way of heating your home and can be used alongside your typical fossil-fuel run HVAC system to help you save on heating costs.
It should be stated, however, that to get the most out of your solar space heater, your home needs to be properly insulated in the first place. Let's take a quick look at how you can turn your roof into a solar space heater.
Turning Your Roof Into a Solar Space Heater
Although this is something you can probably do yourself, it is often best to consult with a professional who specializes in solar energy and its components just to make sure that you get everything done in the most effective and efficient manner. That being said, here is a glimpse at how solar space heaters work and how you can turn your roof into one:
As this water passes through the heat exchanger, it gets warmed up and then passed back through the system to the radiant floors where they emit the necessary heat thus keeping your HVAC system off the grid. Either that or it significantly reduces the number of times your HVAC systems come on to warm up the house. At this point, your home is essentially being heated up by solar power.
Having a heat exchanger ensures that you can use your solar space heater to warm your showering water as well as the water you use for other functions around the home; this comes in particularly handy during the summer months when you might not want to overuse your heating system in an attempt to save on costs.
This is just one example of how you can turn your roof into a solar space heater. Most of these systems are custom-made for specific homes with specific needs. That is why you need to consult a professional before trying to set one up.
The Necessary Components of a Solar Space Heating System
Some components simply must be part of this system for it to work. The most important include:
There are a number of other necessary components, the extent of which will vary with your specific needs.
Different Applications for Solar Space Heater Systems
As we have already mentioned, solar space heaters can be applied in a wide variety of home heating systems. Here are some of the most effective ways to use solar space heaters to warm up your home:
We have already touched a bit on solar heating with radiant floors and this is one of the simplest solar heating systems you can set up in your home. Radiant floors use very minimal (low to medium) temperatures to heat up a specific space directly. Many radiant floors only use water that is between 90F - 120F as an effective heat source.
A properly set up solar space heater on your roof can provide you with water that is in excess of 140F; this makes this system perfect for radiant floor heating systems. You can size your solar water heating system in such a way that it subsidizes your daily heating needs and cuts down your heating costs by as little as 20% or as much as 80%.
FHA (Forced Hot Air) Systems
A typical FHA system uses heaters run by electricity or propane to heat up the air in your home. By hiring a professional to outfit your ducts with hot water coils instead, you can effectively replace that electricity or propane with hot water heated by your solar space system. This essentially transforms your FHA system into a solar-powered heating system that uses very little electricity (to run the fan) and saves you tremendous amounts of money.
Low-Temperature Baseboards need water that is between 120F - 140F which your solar space heating system can easily provide. This system, however, can only be used to heat up your home during the day which can help you save up to 50% of your original heating costs.
Turning your roof into a solar space heating system is one of the most cost-effective ways to heat up your home. Not only is it much cheaper, but it is also cleaner and more environmentally friendly.
While one of the most common deterrents to this sort of set up is the initial cost, you should know that this kind of system can quickly pay its own way in a matter of months. These payments will come in the form of all the savings you will be making on your heating bill.