Heating is something every home needs. For years, we’ve used a variety of means to heat our homes without prioritizing the impact these methods have on the environment. Since the late 1990s, heating has been getting more and more eco-friendly. Today, these are several eco-sustainable heating methods on the market and more that are getting there.
Many heaters, radiators, and furnaces are available in environmentally friendly models. If you want to look for sustainable heating options, here are eight of our recommendations:
1. Solar Power Heating Options
Solar power is the most popular sustainable heating option out there. The attractive thing about solar power is that as long as your system is functioning, you’re getting energy you don’t need to pay for. Solar power heating comes in two forms. The first is through heating air and then distributing this heated air through your current HVAC system.
There’s hydroponic collectors as well which heat water to warm up your home. By far, solar is an affordable way to tap into free energy in an eco-friendly, sustainable way.
2. Hydronic Heating Options
Hydronic heating uses an extensive network of pipes to run hot water under the floor, through baseboards, and radiators throughout a home. The combination of these systems run from a boiler, heating the water usually via solar power or geothermal means. Then, a pump is used to send this water outwards and through a heat exchanger.
Hydronic heating encompasses three different ways to convert heat – radiation, conduction, and convection. Each of these is appropriate for different home sizes. It’s best to speak with a heating expert to determine what’s best for your property.
3. Wood Burning Options
Burning wood has been used as a source of heat for centuries. Though wood burners have a negative reputation for being not so environmentally-friendly, newer models are far more sustainable. New wood burners can heat entire homes, though they require the installation of a relatively extensive ventilation system, including pipes and a chimney to vent to the outside.
There’s also the matter of where you’re going to chop and store wood. It’s definitely worth comparing options from wood burning to solar power and other potential heating solutions.
4. Geothermal Heating Options
Geothermal heating systems use temperatures from deep underground to heat your home. Temperatures underground have proven to be a lot warmer than what’s above ground. Most importantly, the temperatures there are very consistent. This means we can use less energy to produce heat.
Right now, the biggest disadvantage to using geothermal heating is the cost to install. This type of sustainable heating option is expensive to get started with but it will increase the value of your home while also eventually paying for itself within a decade or less.
5. Wind Power Heating Options
Few know that wind power can be used to create heat and quite easily at that. A wind power system teamed with a water heater uses the energy from wind to run the heated water throughout a home. The thing with having a wind turbine though is that you need wind. If you aren’t in an area with sufficient wind, turning your turbine isn’t going to work.
Some choose to install a hydroponic system as a back-up, adding to your sustainable heating costs at least in setup. Though wind power heating may not be a first choice, if you’re fortunate to have wind rushing across your property in droves, consider it.
6. Pellet Heating Options
Pellet stoves are heaters which burn pellets as an alternative to wood. Said pellets are a mix of waste products and grass, eco-friendly in design and affordable to buy. A typical pellet annual purchase is between $550 and $700. They’re also easy to store and don’t require any stacking or chopping wood.
Pellet stoves are easy to install, however, they have their limits. A single pellet stove produces enough heat to keep warm a home 1,500 square feet in size. For a larger home, two pellet stoves may be needed.
7. Masonry Heating Options
Masonry heating trap heat inside a chamber of bricks and then, transfer warm air over a period of roughly 24 hours. Masonry heating burns wood but is known to generate less pollution than wood burners because the material doesn’t burn as fast.
They are a high-efficiency way to trap heat and lower your annual wood purchasing cost, although they do require a high cost investment to get started with. Depending on size and layout of your home, the cost of masonry heating can add up.
8. Biomass Heating Options
Biomass is renewable organic materials from plants and animals that are burned for heat. Biological materials, wood pellets, chips, and logs all qualify as biomass. They are usually combined with a boiler and hot water distribution system.
Biomass is significantly cheaper than electricity, oil, and gas. If you already have a supply of wood, you could eliminate fuel costs altogether. In an effort to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, many rural and secluded communities have taken to building with biomass heating systems in homes.