cansolair (solar furnace)
Does anyone have experience with solar furnaces, such as the solar max made by cansolair? www.cansolair.com. There is a local dealer in upstate New York who is selling this product. He told me he sold about 35 last year and his customers reported having a 30-50% reduction in their heating bills for the season (i didn’t inquire whether this was versus oil, natural gas, etc).
Also, are solar furnaces forgiving if you do not have full southern sun exposure? There is a wooded section to the south of the house. all of the trees are deciduous, so the sun exposure is still pretty good. but still am losing some sunlight.
I had read about these systems (not the exact same one) on mother earth, and backwoods home sites years ago. Those look really high priced (but nice). The ones we install are not so expensive. (We install solar heating, plumbing (hot water), cooling in addition to conventional in southern MN and IA).
They can be hand-made and insulated. They can sit on the south facing roof or side walls (even made to look like window sutters) or even be a greenhouse vented to the house.
Most of the US can reduce heating and cooling by 90% over fall and spring (not much heat gains over winters in extreme north). As for cooling – the northern parts of the US can reduce cooling by 99% since nights are cool enough to not need AC.
The life of the units – I would think they could last 100 years or more with minimal maintenance . . kept clean and clear of debri.
We’re working on a system for our own house that takes heat from every available space – attic, greenhouse and stores it in a basement area to re-circulate the heat (in-floor) later. It’s getting hooked up to the wood heat system for backup and the coldest part of winters. . . wood heat is central to the house. . . very spendy but efficient system. We estimate the home owner will need to replace the wood stove in 45 years – but the rest should still be running save for minor maintenance.
the cansolair solar max costs about $1900 and in NYS you get about a $300 rebate. fairly pricey, but if works, it will eventually pay for itself.
So I take it that since your business installs similar units, you believe they are worth while. Do you have any references on any other good makers of solar furnaces or are these do-it-yourself units?
thanks for your input
I believe that the Federal Tax Decution for solar is 30% with no cap now