In recent years, advancements in technology have brought down the cost and increased the efficiency of several green heating alternatives. Despite Northeast Ohio’s cold winters, a well-designed, earth-friendly heating system can keep you just as comfortable as a gas furnace.
A geothermal (ground-source) system is a heat pump that uses the earth or water as a heat sink, rather than using the air the way a conventional air-source heat pump does. Just like air-source heat pumps, geothermal models can both heat and cool. They use pipes buried in the ground or submerged in water to move heat. In winter, they absorb heat from the earth and move it into your home. In summer, they do the opposite to provide cooling.
While air-source heat pumps generally reach efficiencies of up to 250 percent, a geothermal system can achieve up to 600 percent efficiency on the coldest nights. That’s because the temperatures underground are more stable than the air temperatures.
One of the best-known of all green heating alternatives, solar power is a viable heating option even in Ohio’s not-so-sunny winters. A solar heating system uses solar collectors (panels) to absorb and concentrate energy from the sun’s rays.
This energy is then used to heat water for radiators, hot-water baseboards or radiant flooring. It can also provide for your household hot water needs. Solar heating is a particularly economical alternative if you currently use one of the pricier energy sources, such as electricity or oil.
This age-old heating method may not seem eco-friendly at first glance, but it can be if you choose the right equipment. Today’s wood stoves are around 50 percent more energy efficient and 70 percent less polluting than those made even 20 years ago. A wood stove that also burns pellets, which are recycled from wood scraps and sawdust, is an even greener choice.
If you’re interested in enjoying one of these green heating alternatives in your home, you can learn more by contacting us at Stack Heating & Cooling in the Greater Cleveland area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about green heating alternatives and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.