Alternative Heating Systems

by admin on January 24, 2013

Three Heating Systems You can Consider

There are many indoor heating systems in use around the world to provide the desired ambient temperatures for people. In most parts of the world you need to heat your home for at least a portion of the year. Unfortunately, most heating systems are expensive, and in many ways it can be one of the most energy-intensive and ecologically unfriendly aspects of home ownership.

Conventional home heating systems rely on costly utilities like electricity or natural gas, and increase your carbon footprint. That’s why homeowners are increasingly seeking alternative heating systems that will be greener and won’t cost as much. There are many heating systems available to heat your home. Today we’ll look at three popular alternative heating systems – passive solar, geothermal, and the gasification wood boiler.
heating systems

Passive Solar. When possible, passive solar is one of the most ideal heating systems; passive solar means configuring your home to collect maximum warmth during the day and shed minimum warmth at night. Typically you will have large double pane windows and building materials that absorb heat. The cost to “run” it is zero – as the name implies, it’s passive and uses no energy. Unlike rooftop solar panels, there are no concerns with licensing and installation.

Pros: Passive solar is hassle free and costs no ongoing money once your home is built.

Cons: Not all climates are well suited to passive solar, and it often has to be built into the original construction of the house.

Geothermal. Geothermal heating relies on the fact that the earth’s below-ground temperature is constant, and far warmer than the outside temperature. A system of tubes runs from deep beneath the ground to the walls and floors of the house, conducting natural heat from the ground for little more than the cost of running a pump.

Pros: Geothermal has no ongoing heating costs and is reliable year round. It can be switched to a cooling system in the summer.

Cons: Geothermal is prohibitively expensive to install, and heat output can sometimes be limited.

Wood Gasification. Burning wood is an age-old heat source, but most of the energy in wood goes to waste in a conventional fire. In a high-temperature furnace, the carbon in the wood can be completely burned to be used in a boiler to send heat throughout the home.

Pros: Easy to replace swap out for an existing heating system; easy to install and maintain; relatively inexpensive.

Cons: You will need a reliable source of wood.

Have you ever lived in a home with passive solar, geothermal heating or a gasification wood boiler? What’s your preferred heating system if you have to choose one from the above heating systems?

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