solar heating question


Old 12-16-02, 08:45 AM
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solar heating question

I looked all over the forums and don't see where this might fit in, so decided to put it here, because it does involve "heating". It didn't seem to fit in the "finance" topics.

I have been writing in another thread about a ceramic heater but got on the topic of solar heat.

I have a big old house, with a big "wrap around" type porch on the front that faces south. In the winter we have it covered in clear plastic, for insulation, and (as I said in the other thread) when the sun hits it during the day it gets to be 90+ degrees (F) even if it's "0" outside. I once put a thermometer out there, when it was 10 (F) outside, and in the porch it was 99(F)

I live in Norhtern Vermont, so it does get cold, especially at night, but when the sun is out, hitting the snow, it is very bright and hot (when it hits the plastic it heats up the porch).

My porch is in need of being rebuilt, it's old and kind of sinking.

I haven't had the money to do this.

I have daydreamed about having it rebuilt in some sort of "solar heating" way, with combination (insulated) windows all around, could be screens (and cool) in summer. And circulation vents and fans to bring the heat into the house, at least during the daytime hours when the sun is out.

At times the air on the porch in winter is much hotter than the temp inside the house, even with the furnace on.

What I was just thinking, is there any kind of funding or "energy grants" or something that people can apply for to do this? Maybe not Government, all I've heard is the Bush has and is cutting funding, Medicare doesn't pay for dental or glasses anymore, and out town taxes went up $300 last year because of Bush tax cuts to the schools.

But, solar energy companies or groups? Are they still around and as popular as they once were?

I have heard of tax credits for putting solar heat in your home, but what about grants to actually do this?

Maybe just a shot in the dark, but who knows what one can find if they know about it and know how.

I've seen books advertised about getting "grants" to do anything, like take a year off to write a book or something. I always think it's just someone trying to sell a book.

Our State does have a weatherization program (which I had done a few years ago) such as insulating the house, calking, and weatherstripping, repairling storm windows, etc. It did help.

They don't put on combination storm windows here, now (in other states they used to do this for low-income people). And they don't do anything with porches or "outbuildings".

I think I have the perfect porch, facing in the right direction (south, or maybe slightly south west) for solar heating.

Of course, if I had the money to rebuild the porch and make it "solar", I would have money to get a new (oil) furnace and better storm windows, etc.

Maybe just something to discuss. Solar heat and ways of doing it that don't involve first winning a lottery?

I like the idea of passive (using circulating fans, and some surface to "hold" the heat, etc) rather than actual panels and storage batteries, etc. on the roof. Using the heat of the sun in a less complicated way.

And, with the plastic around it, if I could find an inexpensive way of bringing the heat in during the day, it might be a start.

~ Carrie
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Old 12-16-02, 11:22 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 1,875
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts What you are looking for is "Trombe Walls". This falls under "Renewable Energy" programs. Your State does have them, contact your local utility or your State's Utility Regulatory Board. This and similar programs were initiated by the U.S. Dept. of Energy and the EPA. All States must comply.

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