Are you building a new home or are you just updating the one you already own and are considering a new sustainable heating solution? Because utility costs are on the rise and people are becoming more and more concerned about the environment, sustainable heating solutions are more important than they ever were. But what is available and which ones would be right for your home?
Here is a list of some of the better known heating systems with a brief explanation:
1. Geothermal System
The Geothermal System or geothermal heat pump uses the constant temperature in the ground. These systems are built under the ground where the temperature of the soil is cool in the summer and warm in the winter. This system uses a heat pump that takes the cold air out of the home and puts it back into the ground. Then it pumps the warm air into the house. It does the opposite in the winter, putting the cooler air into your house and taking the warmer air out. The temperature of the air that the system uses does not fluctuate much so it doesn’t take a lot of energy to run the system. This type of system can be installed with a minimal amount of land and fresh water.
2. Pellet and Wood Boilers
These types of boilers have been around for a very long time, but they have changed quite a bit. They are now very efficient, comfortable and do not require as much maintenance as their older counterparts. Wood burning furnaces now produce as much as 90% less emissions than a wood burning fire place. The pellets used in these boilers are made from waste material and wood, of course, is renewable. A nice feature of this type of boiler is that pellets are added as needed by the use of an auger and the only maintenance required is filling the hopper and removing ash.
3. Solar Heating System
There are two types of solar heating systems used for homes and businesses, active and passive.
Active solar heating systems use the warmth of the sun to collect heat in liquid or air reservoirs then a pump is used to distribute the air from the collector to the inside of the building. This type of solar heating system is most often used in homes because it can be used also to heat all of the hot water needed.
The passive solar heating system uses heat diffusion, the process where heat fills a space. They do not use a pump or any type of mechanical means to distribute the heat.
Solar heating systems can be installed as stand-alone units or they can be installed to assist electric, forced air systems.
4. Under the Floor Heating Systems
These heating systems can be either electric or water-based. Heating coils or pipes are installed in the floor of your home. They are heated electrically or with hot water. The heat is distributed by radiation. Radiant heat is considered to be a very healthy way to heat and it does use a lot less energy.
5. Space Heaters
Space heaters are used to heat a specific room or enclosed area, not the whole house. They are portable and can be moved from room to room, depending on where you need more heat. These heaters come in gas, electric and oil powered varieties but should be used with caution. Risks involved with using this type of heating system is fire hazard and carbon monoxide poisoning from gas and kerosene space heaters.
When considering a new heating system, make sure that you are well informed before agreeing to have a contractor install one.