Whether you look at in from an environmental or economic standpoint, updating your home heating system to something more energy efficient makes more sense that ever. There are a number of options that you can employ to spend less money and use less energy to heat your home, but each one has the same basic idea of cutting energy usage by decreasing waste or limiting reliance on fossil fuels.
While technology for heating your home with solar power has been around for a long time, it has only recently become a viable option for the everyday home owner. As the name implies, solar heating systems use energy from the sun’s rays to power the heating system within the home. There are two main ways to use solar energy to help heat your home. The most common way is simply to have large south facing windows that allow large amounts of sunlight into the house during the day. Using glass that is specially designed to intensify the heat from sunlight, this design can be used to make your heating system more efficient, but can’t be used to replace your entire systems.
For that you would need a large collection of powerful solar panels. Solar panels can be used either alone or as a supplement to traditional heating. Most of the times solar energy is used as an aid to traditional fossil fuel powered systems, but this is changing. Some people in extremely sunny areas rely entirely on solar panels for their heating and electricity needs.
By many measurements geothermal heating systems are the most efficient systems available today. They work by bringing up warm air from deep below the earth to power heating within the home. Because there is a constant source of heat below the earth’s surface there is little cost in running the system, and it can be effective even at night when outside temperatures drop. The downside to geothermal systems is that they can be expensive and difficult to install. Unless you have a large amount of land, you may not have room for the necessary digging and installation required. But if you can have one installed it will pay for itself over time.
A modern day natural gas boiler can be extremely efficient if you get the right one. Some are rated up to 99% efficient. Given that natural gas is cheaper than many alternative fuel sources, it can be a great and cheap way to heat your home. Advancements in technology have made natural gas heating as much as 30% more efficient in the last decade. Even for those who are wary of using fossil fuels, a natural gas heating system might be an acceptable compromise. Because they are so much more fuel efficient than other fossil fuel heating systems, you can rest easy knowing that you are cutting you carbon footprint. This option has the smallest up front cost, but perhaps the smallest long term savings when compared to other efficient energy systems.