With the changing weather conditions in most parts of Australia, most Aussies have both the cooling and heating systems their homes. But have you ever stopped and asked yourself whether the energy you are using to keep your homes cool or hot is eco-friendly?
Most of the heating and cooling methods are powered by energy from fossil fuel such as coal, gas, oil, and electricity. However, we all know that fossil fuel is not good for the environment. That is why we are struggling with the issue of global warming as the planet temperature hitting record-breaking highs each year. The good news is that there are better, environment-friendly ways to heat and cool your home.
Here 8 most efficient and environment-friendly ways to heat and cool your home.
1. Solar Heating
Solar energy is one of the most efficient and environmentally friendly ways to keep your home warm or cool. You can use a photovoltaic system that harnesses solar power using solar panels and convert it to electricity to powers air conditioners and heating systems in your home. Unlike fossil fuel, solar energy is renewable and does not emit greenhouse gases. That is why it is one of the most efficient, cleanest and eco-friendly way of keeping your home warm and cool. Apart from converting sunlight to electricity, you can use a solar air heater to distribute heat from the sun direct into the house through an air hose. However, this will only work only when there is sunlight.
However, we recommend that you invest in a photovoltaic system as it is more flexible in use. Although the initial installation cost is high, it is cheaper in the long run. You can store the electric energy for use in the night when there is no sunlight. You can also use the electrical energy to power other home appliances hence reducing energy bills.
2. Pellet Stove
Pellet stove, also called wood stove, has been hailed as one of the cleanest solid fuel heating appliance. The stove runs on compact pellets made out of recycled waste like nutshells, wood, corn, and sawdust. Therefore, it is one of the best methods of heating your home with recyclable energy. The stove also reduces the amount of greenhouse gas released to the environment. Additionally, pellet stove also helps to dispose of waste organic matter that could have otherwise ended up in a landfill. Unlike the traditional wood-burning stoves, you don’t need a chimney hence you can install them wherever sidewall ventilation you want. They are also cheap to install and cheaper to maintain in the long run.
3. Hydronic Heating
Hydronic is another cheap, efficient and environment-friendly way of heating your home. It is a system that uses solar energy to warm your home in the cold season. The system simply works by heating liquids (water or antifreeze) and pumping it through tubing into a heat exchanger. As the hot liquids run through the pipes, they will heat the cold air in the house hence keeping it warm. By heating energy coming from the solar, then you will be promoting the reduction of the amount of carbon and other greenhouse gases that could have been released into the air if fossil fuel was used.
Biodiesel is increasingly becoming popular in Australia due to its many benefits over fossil fuel. Unlike fossil fuel, biodiesel is made from biological ingredients ranging from animal fat, sugarcane, wheat to soybeans. Therefore, it is a clean and renewable fuel. For the longest time, it has been used for trucks and tractors, but people are now using it to heat their homes. Biodiesel has fewer pollutants such as carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases making it one of the cleanest and eco-friend ways of heating your home. You should try it.
5. Passive Design
Passive cooling/heating is one fast-growing method in Australia in the last few years. One of the biggest benefits that come with this system is that it heats and warms naturally- it is a technique where you use natural forces to maintain comfortable temperatures in the room. You can use solar chimneys also called passive solar heating to keep the room warm during the cold seasons. For cooling your home, you can use light coloured roofs or reflective roofs to reflect heat. You must also consider overhangs and energy efficient windows to keep the house temperatures at comfortable levels. These are just a few of the passive cooling and heating methods. There are many that you can select from.
6. Proper Insulation
Reducing the amount of energy used to keep your home warm or cool can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. Upgrading your insulation is one of the best ways to go about it. This is a technique that helps to prevent air from escaping from ducts, walls, doors, and windows. Do you know that a properly insulated home reduces energy consumption by anything between 20 to 30%? Well, that is true. So warm or cool air will not escape hence reducing the cooling or heating load.
7. Thermal Shades
During the cold or hot seasons, you can easily reduce the amount of energy need to keep the room cool by introducing thermal shades. These are special insulators added to the windows. They work by blocking the solar energy from entering the house during summer and retaining heat during winters. That simply means that they reduce the load on the HVAC appliances in your home. Therefore, you will need less fuel to keep the home cool or warm. That is how you significantly reduce the amount of heat-trapping gases released into the atmosphere.
8. Change Your Lighting
What type of bulbs are you using in your home? Well, some of the bulb varieties in the market consume light than others. If you still have incandescent bulbs, you should consider changing them as they consume a lot of energy. Instead, get LED bulbs. You should consider using low wattage bulbs to reduce the lighting load.
These are just a few of the most efficient and environment-friendly ways to heat and cool your home. Although you can do most of them by yourself, we recommend that you seek services of an HVAC specialist to help you the most of the unit.