Author – Matt Jambro
Winter has arrived in full fury this year and staying warm has become our top priority. When we begin to think about heating our homes, we start thinking about how much energy we will spend and how our utility bills will become much higher. When the first bill of the heating season arrives, somehow it always catches us off-guard and we wonder if that is really how much energy and money we usually spend. We then look out for other options of heating that are available to us, and start comparing numbers – what pays off the most, what will keep the house warm and comfortable, but at the same time reduce our bill, and with them the amount of energy we use, or better to say waste.
With the rising trend of green living or going green, we realize that we can incorporate the principles of energy-efficient and sustainable living into nearly every aspect of our lives. Right from recycling, reducing waste, sustainable building materials to renewable energy sources and solar-powered technology, green heating is another aspect that can be sustainable and eco-friendly, reducing your energy usage, costs, and your carbon footprint.
Nearly all of the conventional heating methods are in one way or the other harmful to the environment. They mostly use fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, and natural gas, as sources of energy, which has a significantly negative impact on the environment, causing pollution, global warming, and acid rains. Turning to the greener way of heating, and living in general, will help make the environment healthier and our planet a better place to live.
Types of Green Heating
Green heating systems can generally be divided into two main categories – passive and active. In passive green heating systems, the focus is mainly on maximizing the energy we are naturally given, without the use of any kind of furnaces, heating or air conditioning systems, i.e. letting the nature heat or cool our homes. This is achieved through the construction of passive homes. It is a construction trend that focuses on how the house can be built in order to be as energy efficient as possible, and that involves aspects such as positioning the house on the optimal location, installing windows and roofs on the right side, facing the right direction, using the right green building materials, among others, all with the goal of maximizing the energy from the sun.
Active green heating systems, on the other hand, are mechanical systems of various types that run on any type renewable energy, such as geothermal power or solar power. Some of these systems may seem expensive at first, but they usually pay off well in the long run. The system itself or the installation of it can be costly, but the difference will be seen on your significantly lower monthly utility bill, as well as in the fact that you are no longer leaving a harmful impact on the environment. Apart from that, there are many different incentive programs offered by the government that you can explore and take advantage of. Some the best and most common ways of green heating are geothermal heating and pellet stoves.
Geothermal heating is one of the most energy-efficient green systems, which uses the more constant air that is beneath the surface where temperatures are higher and more stable. The main difference between the traditional heating systems and a geothermal system is that the traditional ones use the outside air to heat your home, and since the air becomes colder by the day when the winter comes, more energy is needed to heat up that air. The geothermal system is installed underground and connected to your house, through the heating pipes, water-heating system or the thermostat, and the amount of energy needed to heat your home to the optimal temperature in significantly smaller.
This type of green system is similar to wood stoves, but instead of wood, it uses pellets, which are made from renewable sources, mainly from biomass products that would otherwise go to waste, such as sawdust or switch grass. Biomass pellets are very affordable and are bought in bulk. Pellet stoves are strong and can heat spaces of up to 1,500 square feet efficiently and fast. In comparison it with wood stoves, they emit much less carbon dioxide, they take up less space, they are cheaper, and pellets are much easier to handle than the wood.
Green heating innovations in India
India is increasingly moving towards implementing sustainable principles throughout the country. It is on a path to a major energy transformation and its renewable energy sector is growing at high rates. When it comes to green heating, Turbo Energy Ltd in Chennai, for example, uses solar power for those purposes, i.e., passive solar and solar thermal energy conversion systems. Another great example is TCS Technopark in Chennai that has a solar thermal heat storage system, where solar collectors collect energy and store it for later use.