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As people become increasingly concerned about going green and reducing the size of their carbon footprint, more homeowners are considering using a solar thermal system to provide at least some of their energy needs. These systems certainly can help cut fuel bills and contribute to a cleaner environment, but there are some things to consider before opening your checkbook.
First think about the climate in which you live. How many hours of sunshine does your house typically get each day? Is your home surrounded by large trees that keep it shaded much of the time? That information can help you determine what kind of system might work for you and how it should be installed for maximum efficiency. If you are unsure about whether a solar energy system would work well for all of your energy needs, or if you don’t have the budget for a full-blown system, consider starting smaller. Using solar energy to heat your swimming pool or to power your home’s water heater are less expensive options that would help you determine how well a solar system would function in your particular home. Finally, when installing your system, be certain that the collectors are oriented toward the equator. That’s where the sun’s rays are strongest, so your system will collect maximum power.