The course was very enlightening and I took several things away from the three hour class.
- Solar heating is not an all or nothing solution. It is a way of offsetting existing systems for heating air and water. They don't completely replace the furnace or water heater in one's home. In fact, a back-up is generally required to keep the water and air warm in regions with colder climates.
- Systems can be added a little at a time. A great start: A Solar Air Heater can be installed to heat a small space for relatively little money. Amy is herself adding adding solar elements to her home one at a time. She began with a solar air heater in her kitchen, is in the process of adding solar water heating for hot water and radiant floor heating and will then move on to photovoltaic panels for electricity.
- Some systems are completely or partially Do It Yourself (DIY) projects. For example: Solar Pool Heaters are a very easy DIY projects. Solar Air Heaters, are more complicated, but still doable. Installing a Solar Water Heating for water and/or radiant house heat is much more complicated, but could be installed, in part, by the experienced contractor or DIYer.
- Alternative energy is "in" and NOW is the time to take advantage of state and federal tax incentives. Who knows how long these incentives will last?
- Solar technology is evolving. No one product works in every situation and there are limitations, but as the technology improves, new products will most likely come on the market to meet the needs of consumers.