Consumer GuidesHeating & Cooling

Environmentally Friendly Solar Heat

Solar heat is environmentally friendly. Solar heat does not pollute or produce greenhouse gases. It helps conserve the earth’s energy resources for our children and grandchildren. Solar is as pure, clean and safe as you can get. It is the best choice for people with allergy problems and chemical sensitivities. Solar heating is stable in price. Once you have bought it, you are protected from inflation and the political/economic surprises that come with other fuels.

Hot air rises and cold air falls. This concept of air movement, called natural convection, is an integral part of all successful solar heating installations. If a solar heating system works with natural convection, hot air rising and cold air falling, then the result in comfort level can exceed expectations.

Any good space heating system is designed around the fact that we live near the floor and the heat is at the ceiling. The cold air inlet to the heating system is the key to efficiency and comfort. To heat any given space, the cold air must be removed and circulated through the heater; therefore, the inlet must be ducted so it is on or near the floor. If the inlet is placed on the ceiling, the heater will tend to recirculate the hot air and leave the floor cold. The hot air supply may be placed at the ceiling or on the floor with little difference in performance. If placed on the floor, the hot air rises to the ceiling within a short distance.

Since solar collectors are normally installed on the roof of the building being heated, it is best to place the hot air outlet in the ceiling to shorten the duct run. A system installed in this manner mixes, the air in a building like a ceiling fan, in addition to supplying solar heat.

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