Around 1977, Jimmy Carter was president and looking for alternative sources of energy. I was only 7 at the time so I don’t know the whole story but it goes a little something like this: If you took advantage of alternative energy sources you would get a tax break. My THEN neighbor but now mother in law and her husband decided to install solar panels. This little solar panel system puts out a LOT of warmth, mostly in the spring and fall when it’s too warm for us to build a fire but too cold to not have some sort of heat. In the winter even on cloudy days the glare from the snow helps this to generate warm air too.
My husband and I have hopes and dreams of refurbishing these panels (one is broken) and installing more on the roof. We would like to install some sort of energy storage device and be able to rely on this more than we do now for heat.
I cannot say enough good about our panels. In the 40 years they been there, they have never been serviced. We have cleaned the outside of them a couple of times being gentle. When we added our laundry room, Neal re routed the air duct to the mudroom so that it would heat our little bathroom, kitchen and laundry room. When I tell you this system has been a real trooper I’m not joking.
The only down side to this unit is that it takes electricity to circulate the air. The other downside which isn’t the system, but whomever installed it, is that it only has only one duct.
When people talk about going green the conversation switches to organics, composting or biking/walking instead of driving, but even up here in the far north we are able to harness the sun’s energy and use it as supplemental heat in our home.
Is your family using any type of alternative energy? Would you like to?