It is generally hard to find eco-friendly heating options since the most common methods of heating utilize fossil fuels, like oil, natural gas, and coal. You’ve probably also noticed how much using fossil fuel consumes energy and increases your heating costs, especially in winter, not to mention that using these methods isn’t exactly good for the environment. Burning fossil fuel will emit greenhouse gases into the air, thus increasing the effect of global warming, causing air pollution, and increasing acid rain. If you don’t know of an environmentally friendly solution to this dilemma, read the following suggestions for different options.
When thinking of an eco-friendly way to heat up your house, firewood has not often crossed our minds, but there are actually a few options that can be both eco-friendly and effective. You can either choose seasoned firewood, which is firewood that has been left out for some time to dry naturally and contains less moisture (about 20%) than unseasoned firewood, or you can use dried firewood. The latter is especially more efficient, as the firewood producers over at Buy Firewood Direct explain that the process of drying wood (also known as kiln drying) will expel all moisture out of the wood, which takes about 4 days or a week as opposed to seasoning wood, a process which can take up to 3 years to be accomplished and won’t get rid of all the moisture in the logs. Moreover, kiln drying is a process with which you can manage the moisture percentage inside the wood. This process will also rid the wood of any insects, which is not an advantage with seasoned wood.
You should also pay attention to the type of wood you’re purchasing to achieve maximum efficiency and burn wood while still remaining as eco-friendly as possible. For example, steer clear from wood species that produce a large amount of smoke, like pine and cedarwood, and opt for more eco-friendly options that will produce less smoke and last for a long time, like beech and oak wood.
More people are now opting for geothermal systems to heat their houses, they even swear by it, as it is considered the most efficient and environmentally friendly way to heat your house. Traditional heating systems use the air outside your house to heat the air inside it, which consumes a lot of energy, especially in colder months. Geothermal heating, or earth heating, uses the temperature of the earth below, as it is typically higher than the temperature of the air outside; hence, it will consume less energy, reducing your monthly energy bills significantly. Geothermal heating systems are installed beneath the surface of the earth, as it utilizes the temperature of the earth, but this means that the installation process, in addition to the cost of buying the system itself, will be expensive. So, it is recommended that you calculate the costs of installing a geothermal heating system before you buy one. Many people, however, explain that these systems are a great investment in the long run due to their efficiency and their ability to reduce your energy bills.
If you’re not a fan of burning firewood, you can opt for something similar like using pellets. Like typical firewood, pellets will need proper storage and maintenance, but you won’t have to chop them or stack them. In addition to this, they are significantly cheaper than firewood. They can cost you about $600 a year and they’re also eco-friendly because pellets are made of recycled or renewable materials like waste products and switchgrass. Pellet users also consider them a better bargain than normal firewood, as pellet stoves are well capable of heating houses as large as 1,500 square feet and they’re also the best option for the environment since they emit very small portions of pollution into the air compared to other heating options. However, installing pellet stoves can be quite expensive (you’ll pay more depending on the size of your house and the layout of your HVAC system), but it’s also considered a better option since you’ll be able to save money when purchasing pellets.
Like geothermal heating, solar heating is considered one of the most efficient and eco-friendly options out there to heat your house. If heating up your home for free hasn’t sold you on solar heating, understanding the method with which the system functions will change your mind. There are two types of systems that you can choose from: the hydronic collector and the air system. Typically, if you have a forced-air heating system, then it is preferable that you install the solar air system like an HVAC system. However, you should opt for the hydronic collector if you have a radiant heater already installed in your house. Doing this will reduce the costs of installing, as you already have part of what is needed for the installation process. In any case, you will also need to purchase a solar collector for every 400 square feet of your house. This can cost you a bit of money, as you’ll pay more or less $3,500 for every solar collector, but not paying energy bills for the rest of your life will definitely even out the cost.
Hydronic Heat Systems
These systems use hot water, which runs in pipes that are installed under the floorboards or in radiators that are installed in various areas of your house. In order to heat the water, these systems come with a boiler that heats with solar or geothermal energy. After that, a pump will distribute the boiled water throughout the house and the heat exchanger will convert heat into usable energy.
These options should suffice when it comes to eco-friendly optional; however, before you choose one randomly, make sure to compare the pros and cons of each method in order to determine which one to purchase. If you’re not sure yet, consult a professional to help you decide which option will work best for your house according to the system that you already have installed.