7 Best Environmentally Friendly Heating Systems to Use in 2022 (Guide)

Environmentally friendly heating - stock image of two adults and one childs feet in socks in front of a radiator

During the wintertime, utility expenses can really destroy our budgets. And the worst part is that most traditional heating systems are also awful for the environment.

Luckily for us and our planet, too, technology brought us plenty of sustainable types of home heating systems that can save you money in the long run. 

From solar panels and pellet heating to wind power and geothermal heating, there are various options you can choose as the perfect way to heat your home during the winter.

All of them are environmentally friendly, and made with efficiency in mind. This means providing your home with enough warmth all year round while keeping environmental impact minimal – let’s take a look at the best options for your home!

Why Choose Environmentally Heating Systems?

The typical oil boiler will last 10 to 15 years. It means that a house with a design life of 90 years will need seven or eight of them during that time. And let’s not forget that each replacement requires money and time and is not good for the planet as well.

However, an environmentally heating system should last longer, and it makes savings on emissions that outweigh the CO2 produced by manufacturing its replacement.

First Start With Insulation

Before deciding to invest in a fully environmentally friendly heating system, you should consider investing in your home’s insulation. Having the proper insulation can be both energy-saving and money-saving. 

You should start with your loft and then move to cavity walls to see if they need to be insulted. Remember that insulation will also help you with cooling your home during the summer. Having a good AC is always a great thing; make sure to choose one of the most popular HVAC brands to be sure you are purchasing the right product.

7 Most Environmentally Heating Systems

1. Solar Heating

Solar power is one of the best ways to power homes as solar energy is the most energy-efficient. The truth is you need to invest a lot initially, but the best part is that you are getting free energy for the rest of your home life. 

The same goes for solar heating. It comes in two formats:

  • Hydronic collectors – They heat the liquid to warm up the house
  • Air systems – They work like traditional HVAC systems. 

The correct format for your home generally depends on whether you currently have a forced-air or radiant heating system in place. The former means you will need a solar air heating system and the latter, a solar liquid heating system.

Environmentally friendly heating - solar water heating system on the roof of a house

2. Pellet Heating

The pellets used in pellet heating systems are created from a mixture of switch grass and waste products, both of which are eco-friendly for the environment. These pellets are affordable, especially if you compare them to woods.

Besides saving money on the fuel source, pellet stoves are easy to install and budget-friendly. The amount of money you need to spend in the beginning may sound scary, but the money you later save on pellets will pay for the additional units over time.

You can always consider purchasing the quietest pellet stoves, so your home will be environmentally friendly and calm. What else could you ask for?

3. Wood Burners

Wood burners are one of the oldest ways to heat your home during the winter. They are also probably the most popular way. While they received a bad reputation in the past decade, there are new, modern versions of wood burners that are eco-friendly and more efficient.

Environmentally friendly heating - Wood burning fireplace

The best part of new wood burners is that they are powerful enough to heat your entire home. And there is, of course, the bad part of this heating system. You need to think about chopping and placing your wood in the winter. It is recommended to keep the wood away from the house as pests are attracted to the wood. This means you will need to go outside whenever you need to refill your stock inside the home. 

It is very important to install your wood burner in the right location in a home, along with helping to circulate air between rooms, which can help raise temperatures across a whole house.

4. Wind Power

Most people don’t know they can use wind power to heat their homes. But yes, you can use wind, and you don’t need a massive windmill to get the job done. These systems work together with a water tank, with the wind providing energy to run the heater. 

The catch with this way to heat your home is that you need to live in a windy area. You need enough airflow to turn the turbine. 

5. Geothermal Heating

Geothermal heating is a more recent innovation in environmental heating systems. This heating system is both eco-friendly and efficient. But it also requires an upfront investment into the geothermal heating system.

This type of heating system literally uses the constant temperature of the earth to heat your home. It is installed beneath the earth’s surface, where the temperature is higher than the outside air temperature. This means it needs less energy to get the temperature of your home to the desired level.

Environmentally friendly heating - geothermal heating system in the home
Home Geothermal Heating System

As we said already, the geothermal heating system is quite pricey, but it typically pays for itself within eight years, at the most. And it also decreases your monthly heating bills. You will definitely make your home greener by installing this type of heating.

6. Masonry Heater

Masonry Heater is similar to pellet stoves. It is a much smaller heating system that looks more like a traditional fireplace. The most significant difference between these three types of heating is that the masonry heater traps the heat within the bricks of the twisty smoke chambers, providing warmth for up to 24 hours.

Although they use wood, they are more environmentally friendly than traditional wood stoves and produce less pollution. Due to how slowly they burn and the trapped heat, these heaters produce more heat than other heaters that use wood.

Like the others from our list, you need to make a big investment to start heating your home using a masonry heater. But keep in mind that the cost is definitely worth the savings in the long run.

7. Hydronic Heat Systems

Hydronic heat systems work by running hot water through the pipes placed under the floor in your home. They can also run water through baseboards or via radiators. These systems usually have a boiler that heats up the water and a pump that sends hot water throughout the house. Boilers use solar or geothermal power. 

Copper fin-tube radiators are probably the most common application of residential hydronic heat systems. They’re cost-effective and easy to install, and they also provide the premium comfort that hydronic systems are known for.

Take a look at this video by ProHome for more detail on how hydronic heating systems work:

Conclusion

We have come to the end of our little guide about the most environmentally friendly heating systems. Hopefully, we have given you an idea of what to choose next for your home. Whatever you choose to heat your home sustainably, make sure to consult with a professional when making your final decision. This winter, your home will be warm and comfortable, and you will 100% be sure that you are doing your part for the environment.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the greenest way to heat your home?

Geothermal heating systems are the most eco-friendly way to heat your home. Energy Star reports show geothermal heating is the most environmentally friendly and efficient way to heat your home. This requires, however, a big, upfront investment, but it pays off. Your home will be warm, and you will produce no pollution. Read the full guide for more on geothermal heating systems.

Are there any disadvantages of geothermal heating?

Yes, there are disadvantages to geothermal heating. Some of them are: generates waste, location restricted (meaning you cannot use it everywhere), reservoirs require proper management, and high initial cost. In the most extreme cases, it can also cause an earthquake. Geothermal heating has the potential to become a major global energy source; it just requires a bit high upfront cost which is holding it back. Read the full guide for more info on geothermal heating and other eco-friendly heating alternatives.

What is the healthiest method of heating your home?

A hydronic heating system is the healthiest way to heat your home. It is healthy, clean, and the most comfortable way to make your home warm during the long winter months. You will heat your home without sacrificing comfort or energy efficiency. This heating system doesn’t blow allergens around your house. And it also doesn’t give them a place to hide in the ductwork. Read the full guide for more on hydronic home heating systems.

References

Create the Future: Wind-powered Heater

Energy.gov: Wood and Pellet Heating

EPA: Geothermal Heating and Cooling Technologies

InterCounty Supply: Everything You Wanted to Know About Hydronic Heating

SEIA: Solar Heating & Cooling

Wikipedia: Masonry Heater

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