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4 Environmentally Friendly Ways to Keep Your Home Warm

Written by Posted On Friday, 29 December 2017 14:03

No matter where you live, your heating bills will probably get fairly expensive during the winter months. Additionally, most heating solutions are using fossil fuels – such as oil, coal and natural gas – which makes them bad for the environment as well. Harvesting fossil fuels comes at a high cost, and they also have a negative impact on global warming.

Thankfully, fossil fuels are not the only heating solution at our disposal. There are four other environmentally friendly options for heating your home once winter rolls around: geothermal heating, masonry heaters, pellet stoves and solar heating. They all have their own characteristics, pros and cons. Here are the main things you should know about each of these heating solutions.

1. Geothermal Heating

If Energy Star reports are to be believed, geothermal heating is both the most "green" and the most efficient method of heating your home. This system is based around using the temperature of the earth, whereas most other heating systems use outside air. As you can probably guess, the colder the air is outside, the more energy it takes to heat up your home.

How does this work? Well, the geothermal heat pump is always installed beneath the surface of the earth. As the underground temperature is much higher than the air temperature, you'll spend far less energy getting to the temperature you like inside your home.

Now, the geothermal heating system usually requires a steep upfront payment. However, they generally pay for themselves within a reasonable time period, so they still represent a decent investment. This kind of system also comes with some additional benefits, such as reducing your heating bills and improving your home's resale value. If you're looking for the most efficient way to heat your home while staying green, geothermal heating should be at or near the top of your list.

2. Masonry Heaters

A masonry heater is another green heating solution, and it's particularly notable for its compact size. To an inexperienced eye, one of these heaters might seem like a traditional fireplace. Despite their visual similarities, however, masonry heaters rely exclusively on radiant heating. These devices capture the heat within their smoke chambers, which allows them to provide heat for longer periods of time.

Another thing masonry heaters have in common with traditional heaters is that they also burn wood. On the other hand, a masonry heater will burn slower, thus producing less pollution and requiring fewer supplies than other heaters. Thanks to the trapped heat and the slow burn, masonry heaters will also be able to generate more heat than their counterparts.

Since masonry heaters are a modern type of heating source, they can get pretty expensive. Their prices vary wildly, but they'll usually set you back somewhere between $2,000 and $5,000. It's important to note that your home's dimensions and your design preferences will have a big impact on the final price. Of course, like most other types of green heating solutions, masonry heaters also provide solid value for money.

3. Pellet Stoves

Much like masonry heaters, pellet stoves take up less room when compared to traditional stoves. The main difference is that pellets are made from renewable sources that would normally get thrown away. The most common type of pellet fuel are wood pellets made from compacted sawdust and other switch-grass and waste products.

Pellet stoves are generally affordable, and can be purchased for less than $2,500. Thanks to the fact they use recycled or renewable materials, they're also considered environmentally friendly. The pellets themselves don't take up as much room as wood, and you can easily store them in the basement or in the garage. Also, there's no need to worry about chopping and carrying the wood all the way to the stove.

A pellet stove has less heating power than its counterparts, and is only able to heat up to 1,500 square feet. If your home is bigger than that, you would probably have to purchase an additional pellet stove. On the other hand, you'll only need to spend $600 on pellets in a single season. It's worth noting that the pellets also emit less pollution when compared to your typical wood stove.

4. Solar Heating

With solar heating, the initial investment of having solar panels and solar heating installed will be the only one you'll have to make. There are no additional costs involved, and you'll be able to heat up your home for life. However, you'll first have to choose between two main types of solar heating system: a direct circulation system and an indirect circulation system. One of these systems works by heating air in a hydronic collector, whereas the other one heats liquid.

Depending on the heating system you already have installed in your home, this choice might only be a formality. If you have a forced air heating system, go with the solar air heating option. Similarly, a radiant heating system should make you want to choose the solar liquid heating system. This is the most cost-effective way of installing a solar heating system, as your home can provide half of what you need.

Speaking of costs, this kind of system is probably easier on your pocket than you think. Generally speaking, a single solar collector should be able to supply approximately 400 square feet of your home. These days, a typical solar collector will set you back $3,500. The heating system itself will cost anywhere from $30 to $80 per square foot. Not a bad price to ensure you'll never have to pay a heating bill again.

Conclusion

As you can see, all four of these alternative heating solutions come with plenty of environmentally friendly benefits. Choosing between these options will depend on your needs and sensibilities. How big is your home? How much money can you spend? Which system do you have right now?

If you feel like you can't make a fully informed choice, you'll probably want to consult a professional. They'll be able to provide you with every answer you need, and these types of decisions are best made by researching all the relevant resources you have at your disposal. After all, saving the environment – and your wallet – is not a matter to be taken lightly.

Feel free to reach out to the professionals at Tropical Heating & Air, if you have any questions about alternative heating solutions or have a concern with your furnace or heating system. Tropical Heating’s furnace services is the most trusted heating repair and maintenance in Orange County, Ca. Their knowledgeable technicians are available 24/7 to help keep your home warm during this chilly winter season.

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