You are to be commended for wanting to do your part in saving the environment by going “green” when heating your home. To truly understand the green heating concepts, you need to understand the basic definition of “green” in terms of the environment and related products. When a product like a heating system is deemed “green,” this means that there are no environmental earth-based materials destroyed in the process. In terms of heating, this means no trees were burned, no gas (fossil fuel) was used and there is little to no pollutant by-products during utilization.
It is easy to see heating systems that use propane, oil and natural gas are not green products since fossil fuels are the source of energy. Anything that uses electricity is a bit more ambiguous as some electric companies use fossil fuels to create energy but others incorporate solar and wind power as well. In these cases, you can likely choose which electricity source option you want. If you wish to take matters into your own hands and choose a green way to heat your home, consider these two options:
1. Geothermal heat – The basic concept behind geothermal heating systems lies in harnessing the earth’s natural heat and translating into energy that can heat or even cool your home. Pipes for this type of heating system run a few feet below ground level where temperatures are warmer than what may be outside. There are two types of pipes that could be used – one uses groundwater sources while the other uses a combination of water and antifreeze coolant. The water or antifreeze solution circulates through the pipes harnessing the heat from the earth, using the water as a conduit to transfer the heat to your home.
The only environmental upset to geothermal heating is digging into the earth to place piping for the system. No products such as wood or fossil fuels are used in the process of heating the home. Geothermal heating systems can last for years with little maintenance, making it a green and efficient heat energy source.
2. Solar heat – Before solar energy was the “in” thing, it was quite an expensive endeavour to incorporate it into any part of your home’s energy. With the 21st century brings a more affordable solar solution, attainable by many homeowners. Solar panels harness the sun’s energy, store it and then transfer it to special equipment which then translates it into energy that can be used for electricity and heating. While the initial cost outlay can be a bit expensive, in the long run it will pay off in lower energy bills and overall clean energy that is environmentally friendly.
While there are other environmentally friendly heating options in the works, geothermal and solar heat are two viable options put into practice right now. If you are building a new home or have a generous budget for revamping your home, consider these heating options and become a “greenie.”