Are you interested in using a solar heating system? If so, then you will have several options. One of the main ones is whether to choose an active or passive system.
What are Active Solar Heating Systems?
This type of system involves harnessing and storing (in the form of heat) solar energy. It uses fans and other objects to dispense heat that has been harnessed. Solar cells constructed of silicon are the most common type of solar heat collectors. Typically, the cells are contained on solar panels, which are located on the roof of a home.
What are its main types?
There are two primary types. Their difference lies in the material that captures and moves the heat that is located in the solar collector. Usually the material is a gas or a liquid. For instance, an air-based system usually involves transpired air collectors or air room heaters. On the other hand, liquid-based systems usually involve water (or antifreeze) to capture and move heat.
How much power does it provide?
Usually the goal of such systems is to heat up to three-fourths of a home’s interior. When more solar energy than a house needs is produced, the homeowner could then sell excess power back to his or her local utility company. Also, it is advisable to heat both the air and water in your home, so your system can function throughout the entire year.
What Are Passive Solar Heating Systems?
This type of system is a low-technology method of capturing solar energy. It functions by directly capturing the sun’s warmth, and then retaining it within the house for the function of heating. This is mainly achieved through methods such as quality insulation and windows. This type of system can lower your current heating costs, or even replace your home’s current system.
What are its components?
Windows are the primary components of such systems. The goal is to maximize the amount of sunlight and heat that one can collect during the daytime. Typically, the windows consist of a special variety of glass that absorbs as much heat as possible-and then keeps it indoors for a maximum amount of time.
Besides windows, another common component of Passive Solar Heating Systems are trombes, which are a special type of wall. There is a pane of glass in front of the wall. The mission is for the space between the glass and wall to collect heat. Another method is to paint the concrete walls black, so they will absorb sunlight more.
What are its benefits?
This is generally an ideal option when you are looking for a solar heating system for a new home. The reason is that Passive Solar Heating systems are based on factors such as the location of the windows in the home, the location of the building itself, the amount of insulation in the building, and so on. These issues can be quite challenging to change within existing homes-and especially the location of the home!
Although you may not think it, but 21% of the green house gas emissions produced in the united states come from everyday household energy usage. By implementing cost efficient energy saving techniques, you can help reduce these emissions while saving money at the same time.
Improving your homes efficiency
Compact fluorescent light bulbs last up to 10 times longer, produce 75 percent less heat, and still produce the same amount of light as an incandescent bulb with only 25 percent as much energy usage. By simply swapping your old lights out for these new ones, you can see a drastic reduction on your monthly energy bills. If you want to take it to the extreme, you can easily make the switch to solar power. Solar panels are getting cheaper to purchase, easier to install, and will last for around 20 years. In addition to cutting your energy bills, the federal government also offers a tax credit of up to 30 percent of your installation cost.
Reducing Heat Loss
By making your home almost air tight, you can improve your homes energy efficiency by 20%. Add/replace old weather-stripping to your windows and doors as well as plugging any other leaks in your home can stop/reduce heating and air conditioning losses. You may also want to consider adding insulation where it’s missing or has a minimal amount. this will reduce heating/cooling expenses as well as reduce moisture buildup in your ceilings and walls.
Electronics and Appliances
75% of a homes electricity is consumed by electronics and appliances while they are turned off according to the U.S. department of Energy. This can be reduced by unplugging devices when their are not in use. You can also reduce this amount by swapping out your old appliances with new energy-saving models.
For every 10 degrees in temperature you increase your water heater, you use an additional 5 percent of energy. By reducing the temperature you can be saving yourself unnecessary expenses as well as lengthening the lifespan of your water heater. If you wanted to eliminate this problem all together, Tankless water heaters only warm your water when you need it. Instead of constantly heating your water to maintain a set temperature, these devices use up to 60% less energy than your traditional water heater.
Steel Buildings – Green Applications
Gone are the outdated corrugated metal buildings of the past. The new generation of pre engineered steel buildings are finding use in an ever growing variety of Green building projects. Steel buildings are leading the way in the Green building revolution, meeting Green building design goals with innovative building design, engineering and use of materials.
Green building design, also known as “sustainable building” is coming of age as we recognize that global resources are limited and that climate change is inevitable – unless we take positive action now.
Green building recognizes the environmental impact of buildings, their construction, life-cycle and ultimate demolition, and works to lessen this impact through
- Energy efficiency
- Environmentally sound building materials
- Innovative building design
- Healthy indoor environment
Environmentally Friendly Pre-engineered Steel Buildings
Pre-engineered steel buildings also known as prefabricated buildings or prefab metal buildings are an innovative building solution featuring solid steel I-beam building construction.
- Pre-engineered buildings are designed and engineered by trained and certified structural metal building engineers to meet all local building codes for snow and wind load and seismic conditions.
- Building components are engineered and fabricated to precise specifications using the highest grade commercial steel available.
- Modern steel manufacturers employ energy efficient methods in steel production that help to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- When a steel building is demolished to make way for new construction the metal building materials don’t end up in a landfill like asphalt shingles, concrete, brick and wood. The steel is recycled instead.
- Steel can be recycled over and over again without loss of the quality of the steel.
- More steel is recycled than all other recyclable materials combined.
Cool Coatings Get Cool Energy Credit
“Cool” coatings are special siliconized polyester paints with superior reflective qualities. “Cool” coatings applied to metal buildings act as a thermal barrier to keep the insides of metal buildings cool in summer. This means that buildings coated with “cool” coatings use less energy, making steel buildings more energy efficient. The use of “cool” coatings saves money and the environment through reduced energy costs over the life of the building and can even qualify for Federal tax credits.
Urban Heat Islands: Cool Roofs Bring Relief
Savvy builders are taking advantage of the fact that metal building roofs reflect light and heat keeping buildings cooler in hot weather. Plus, metal building roofs don’t store heat and radiate it back at night like other types of roofs. This saves energy in cooling costs and helps save the environment by lessening the urban “heat island” effect. An “urban heat island” happens when urban concrete and asphalt construction absorbs heat during the day then radiates it back at night so that temperatures don’t fall at night as they normally would, and is a powerful contributor to climate change and global warming.
In places like California, Texas and Florida, commercial building construction is taking advantage of the “cool” properties of metal roofs for commercial buildings such as warehouses, industrial manufacturing plants, aircraft hangars, storage buildings, retail outlet stores, auto dealerships, strip malls and more.
Metal building roofs also work to save energy and the environment in cooler climates. A painted metal roof not only reflects heat in summer, but also retains heat inside the building on cool days, saving on heating costs and keeping the indoor environment healthy and comfortable in both summer and winter. New metal building roofs qualify for Federal tax credits.
Steel Buildings: Cost Effective, Energy Efficient and Green
- Don’t require cutting down valuable forests.
- Are manufactured with a high proportion of recycled content.
- Employ sustainable building design and construction and erect in less time than conventional building construction.
- Fire and rust resistant and steel buildings are virtually maintenance free.
- By their very nature steel buildings are durable, cost-effective, energy efficient and Green.