Solar Nerd articles about: Heating and Cooling

← View all topics

sunny window
Using solar for home space heating: questions answered
If you’re interested in a heating a whole house with solar power, that’s a pretty big topic. There’s a few ways solar can provide heat, from photovoltaics that power a heat pump to solar thermal panels that capture heat directly. You can check out my article on solar heating if you want to get into the details. However, I’ve noticed that there’s consumer interest in heating just a single room with solar power, and even some products marketed for this purpose.
Illustration of an electric home.
Electrify your home? A guide for solar homeowners
All-electric homes are fast becoming one of the latest home trends. If you want to have cleaner indoor air, the latest technology, or save money (and who doesn’t?), an all-electric home might be right for you too. It also makes a lot of sense if you have solar panels, or you’re thinking about it. If you can generate enough electricity from rooftop solar panels, you can power all of the appliances in your home and still have a monthly electric bill that’s near zero.
Photo of a sign with the words "air con"
Solar powered air conditioning for your home
If you live in a climate where air conditioning is a significant part of your electricity usage, that probably means it’s a good climate for solar energy. Does that mean you can power your air conditioner with solar electricity? You absolutely can, but we should explain exactly what that means. If your idea is to power an air conditioner directly with solar panels - that is, connect some solar panels directly to an AC unit and essentially run it off-the-grid - it is possible.
Photo of roof-mounted solar panels
Do solar panels keep your roof and attic cooler?
If you live in a hot climate, it’s likely that air conditioning is your largest energy consumer. Photovoltaic panels make a lot of sense in these climates, because hot climates also have higher solar energy potential. Fortunately, solar panels can keep your house cooler. They do this by passively shading your building, helping to reduce the heat gain into your attic. Roof-mounted solar also have an air gap of several inches between the panel and the roof, permitting airflow to keep both the panels and roof cooler.