Homeowners today have more options when it comes to installing a heating and cooling system in their home. Do you want to save on money initially? Do you want the top of the line products? Or do you want to have a lesser impact on the environment and save money down the line? If you are interested in going green with your heating and cooling system there are a few things you need to look into before you make your decision.
Becoming more environmentally friendly is a wonderful thing to do, but it isn’t as simple as buying the system and having a professional install it. There are several different avenues and directions one can take, and they each provide different benefits. Typically, a system that is environmentally friendly will initially cost more than a regular heating and cooling system, but after the initial payments are done you are able to save more than a regular system. Additionally, there are rebates anyone can receive for installing an environmentally friendly system in their home.
One of your options is the geothermal system. This is an underground system that utilizes heated or cooled water to change the temperature in your home. Depending on where you live, the temperature of the water remains between 42 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The system uses this energy to heat and cool any building. It uses a heat pump that takes the fluids in to pump cool or warm air into the building just as a heating and cooling system would heat or cool your home.
Passive Solar System
Another green option is the passive solar system. This utilizes a building’s exterior walls, windows and floors to heat and cool the home. Energy is collected or released from the sun through the walls, windows and floors. The easiest way to use this system is called “direct gain” where sunlight passes through windows and the light is converted to thermal energy. The floors and walls then maintain this energy by storing it and pumping it throughout the house. This system will still need the equipment to keep the temperatures constant in the summer or winter just like forced-air or radiant flooring. The type of solar system that most people think is a solar active system. This is where there are solar panels, which collect sunlight on a roof. This converted sunlight is utilized as electricity that can be used a multitude of ways. The problem with this system is that it is not efficient. Only 10 perfect of the sunlight is actually converted into energy. The passive solar system can be far more efficient.
Hydronic heating is an option that is far from innovative or new. Actually, the old radiators that might exist in your grandparents’ home is in fact hydronic heating. The difference is that nowadays these systems are a little more sophisticated. Hot water is piped through tubes that run under your floorboards through radiators or baseboards. The water is heated using solar energy or geothermal energy like we discussed above.
Ice-powered Air Conditioning
In a typical air conditioning system, a building will crank the air conditioning on a hot day, which in turn uses a tremendous amount of power. A company called Ice Energy has developed a system that decreases the amount of electricity needed to cool a building. In the ice-powered system, the unit makes ice at night and uses this ice to cool an existing air conditioning unit during the day.
Biomass and Biodiesel
A more instant and cheaper way to become more green in your home is to use biomass or biodiesel. Biomass can replace wood or natural gas that is used to heat your home. Biomass is more sustainable and cheaper than fuel oil, natural gas and propane. Biomass is energy from living things such as trees and plants. When you burn biomass rather than natural gas or wood it releases far less carbon dioxide. Biodiesel is a clean-burning, renewable fuel that can be used to heat a home. When you use biodiesel over other options you are releases less pollutants into the atmosphere. This helps decrease the heat-trapping gases. Additionally, biodiesel is sustainable because it is made from wheat, corn, soybeans and sugarcane also known as energy crops.
Written by Ashley Hansen of Wayne’s Heating & Cooling who is the go to company for heating and cooling Moberly MO has to offer!