Energy Efficient Home HeatingPosted by: | Posted on: May 20, 2014
With ever more interest in making homes more energy efficient, there has been a lot of innovation and radical evolution of clean energy sources for the average family home. Costs have come down significantly and there are quite a few options available that also come with tax incentives. In this post I want to highlight some great ideas for you to reduce your carbon footprint and in many cases make your home more comfortable for your family.
Gone are the days where reducing your energy usage meant putting on extra layers of clothing and wearing gloves while you watch TV in a totally dark house. Yes, by turning off the heating and lights you will reduce your energy usage, but how long does that realistically last before you become frustrated with the inconvenience and the cold. However, technologies and materials that in the past were prohibitively expensive are now available for the family home.
As pointed out in this previous post, making sure your home is insulated should be one of the first things you do. You can have one of the most efficient heating systems, but if the heat is escaping straight away it is all still wasted. Ceiling, attic and wall insulation should be priorities before you make a significant investment in other areas.
You should also make sure that all hot water pipes in the house have been adequately insulated. Even if they have been insulated the insulation may be of low quality and could be improved. This is probably a job for a professional as some pipes may be difficult to get at.
A great way to take advantage of solar energy is through solar water heaters that can be attached to the roof. These are usually a panel of black tubes through which water circulates. When exposed to sunlight, even in the winter, the water heats up and can be then used to feed hot water faucets or can be used to supply pre-heated water to your heating boiler.
Service/Upgrade Your Central Heating Boiler
Many people completely forget to regularly service their water boilers which over time can result in lower efficiency. But boilers also become outdated, and if you have had yours for several decades it may be worth investigating a replacement. The most modern systems are a lot more fuel efficient and can easily save 10 to 20 percent of fuel consumption compared to even models from 10 years ago.
Wood Fired Stoves
If you source your fire wood from reputable sources that have a process of reforestation in place can make your heating system near carbon neutral. Solid fuel stoves have become very efficient and will waste only about a quarter of the energy when compared to an open fireplace. You can even buy a stove that heats water and then feeds it into the central heating system, further reducing your reliance on fossil fuels.
There are countless great opportunities available to the average home and even with a limited budget you can make a big difference. Passive housing may be out of the reach of many budgets but that does not mean that you cannot take beneficial steps to reducing your carbon output.