Efficient Alternative Home Heating

Efficient home heating saves valuable natural resources, creates cleaner living and saves money soon after it has been installed. Of course, the best time to install a energy efficient alternative heating system is when a home is being designed and built.

  1. Home Design

    • When designing a home to be heating efficient, you want to create an energy wall. This is the side of the home that gets the most sunlight, usually the south-facing side of the home. Sunlight can be harnessed by solar panels or simply by creating large windows with easy-to-use window covering that can be opened in mornings and closed at night.
      Other architectural design ideas are to use earth-sheltered home designs. These use the earth's natural insulation properties to keep a home retaining it's heat. A home that is partially underground or against a mountain can retain heat in cold seasons and maintain coolness in hot seasons.

    Ventilation Features

    • Heat will rise; this is a known scientific fact that every homeowner should consider. Vents should be kept low to the floor and positioned to span the floor. This allows the heat to move across and up, warming all the air. Being able to separate the venting system into two components to warm different parts of the home are a great idea. You may want heat downstairs during the day without suffocating anyone upstairs.

    Determining Your Ideal Alternative Source

    • Determining your ideal alternative heat source requires looking at your budget, the natural resources that are available to your home and maintenance that is required for the system.
      While solar panels are less expensive (ranging from $1,000-$5,000 average home cost), they may require more maintenance due to wind, tree or animal damage. Geothermal is more expensive ($10,000-$30,000 average home cost) but is a more durable system with minimum maintenance needs. Maintenance is required to keep the pump working efficiently and keep the system free from obstructions.
      If moving water is a readily accessible resource, micro-hydro systems can be installed for under $2,000. These systems can often be installed yourself with most problems being the water source dissipating.

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