Sustainable Green Heating Systems Explained

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Sustainable Green Heating Systems Explained, Which type is Best For You?

Many people are looking for sustainable green heating systems to heat their homes with utility costs on the rise and environmental concerns becoming more important than ever. It can be a bit baffling, however, as you try to sort them all out. Here is a list of some of the better-known green systems, and a brief explanation of each.

Types of Sustainable Green Heating Systems

1. Geothermal Heat Pumps

Geothermal heat pumps (GHPs) make use of the relatively steady temperature under the earth’s surface. GHP systems are largely underground in this temperature-stable area, where it’s cool in the summer (think root cellars) and warm in the winter (being below the frost line).

Sometimes called “geo exchange systems,” GHPs make use of a heat pump that removes the cold air from the home and puts it back into the ground to be re-absorbed. Then the GHP pumps warm air into the home. It does the reverse in the summer. Because the system begins with moderate-temperature air that fluctuates very little, less energy is required to heat or cool the air. Geothermal heat pumps can even be installed on the bed of some bodies of water.

2. Pellet and Wood Boilers and Furnaces

This concept is old-fashioned, but modern wood- or pellet-burning furnaces have come a long way. They are efficient and comfortable, and require much less maintenance than traditional wood-burning furnaces. They can be designed so that emissions are greatly reduced – some companies claim their wood-burning furnaces emit 90% fewer emissions than wood-burning fireplaces. Wood is a renewable resource, and pellets are made from waste materials. You will sometimes see these called Biomass Boilers. To read more about these click this link Wood Stove versus Pellet Stove Eco Comparison of Wood Stoves and Pellet Stoves.

3. Solar Heating Systems

There are passive and active solar heating systems for homes and businesses. Passive solar heating makes use of heat diffusion, a natural process whereby heat fills a space. Active solar heating uses the sun’s heat to warm water or air which is then used to heat the home.

Passive solar heating system does not, strictly speaking, make use of mechanical means to distribute heat. Solar panels may be used, or sometimes a sunny window with an absorber is all that is required. An Active solar heating system collects heat either in liquid reservoirs (hydronic collectors) or air reservoirs (air collectors). Active solar systems then use some means to pump the heated air from the collector to the interior of the home. Active or Passive Solar heating can stand alone or be installed to augment electric, forced air systems. These are both real good green heating options since they both rely on the sun and burn no fossil fuels or use electricity to operate.

4. Underfloor Systems

Either electric or hydronic (water-based), underfloor systems save energy. They involve heating coils or pipes that are installed beneath the floor of a building’s interior. These pipes or coils are heated by electricity or hot water. The heat is distributed by radiation rather than by electrical means. This radiant heat is considered green, healthier and certainly uses less energy.

5. Space Heaters

Space heaters are used to heat a specific area rather than a whole building or home. You can even get “electric fireplaces” which are space heaters with pictures of moving flames that make them look like fireplaces. They are portable, and come in gas-, electric-, and oil-powered varieties. You can use a space heater to augment a conventional heating system – the room where you do the most living can be heated with the space heater while vents are closed in unused rooms. These types of heaters can be extremely dangerous, however, so please use with extreme caution and make sure you read the entire instruction manual before using. We don’t want our friends burning down their homes, so please be careful with these!

With all these options at hand, we hope that you can find a suitable green system from our list of sustainable green heating systems for your home during the cold weather!

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  1. […] like fireplaces. They are portable, and come in gas-, electric-, and oil-powered varieties. Passive Solar heating system does not, strictly speaking, make use of mechanical means to distribute heat. […]

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