Alternative fuels for heating your home

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Claire Springer

A growing number of homeowners today are increasingly concerned with the concept of environmental change and how the energy sources used throughout their homes could be negatively impacting the environment. As a result of these concerns there are many homeowners that are now exploring the use of alternative fuels for their in-home heating needs. A vast number of home and business owners are now switching over their home energy sources to more efficient sources like bio diesel fuels, wind turbines and solar energy in an effort to save money.

Living green is not only beneficial for the environment but also helps to improve the efficiency of any property as well. As we continue to learn more about alternative fuel sources and make discoveries about green energy sources and the environment, we only continue to find more cost advantages as well as efficiency improvements using alternative fuels worldwide.

With the cost of oil continuing to skyrocket and the demand for heating oil continuing to rise, many are turning to alternative sources of finance e.g. payday loans to fund their heating needs. Many are therefore backing out of this trend in order to find some alternative fuels that they could be using to heat their home. If you are interested in joining the movement for alternative fuels in heating your home, read on to discover some of the top alternatives that you could be using instead of traditional electric or oil heat.

burning flame on stove

Corn or wood pellets

This is a heating method that is particularly effective and far less expensive than using oil. It requires quite an inexpensive fuel source i.e. leftover sawdust. The sawdust is then forced into small wood pellets and then burned in a widely efficient stove.

Rather than using sawdust there are also greener alternatives that utilize plant waste. Processed corn pellet stoves have become a very popular solution that utilizes corn waste feed. Manufacturers of these pellets produce a product that can burn in the same way as a wood pellet and with less waste.


There are many homes that are still using oil as the primary source of heat. However, many homes are not using biofuels and opposed to other oils. Biofuels today can be produced using renewable ingredients like vegetable oils as well as some animal fats. The renewable vegetable oil biofuel can burn in the same format as traditional oil and it often requires a much shorter processing time. Oils can run in any oil-fired furnace as well as in many types of diesel engines. These types of quality biofuels offer some of the finest alternatives that require less in the way of conversion or upfront expenses.

Solar energy

Switching over to solar energy is one of the greenest changes that you can make to your home. Solar energy is commonly misunderstood, and many people think that it is just for electricity throughout the home. Solar energy can also be widely beneficial for delivering radiant heating. Solar energy systems can be installed that will radiate heat throughout the home. This can completely eliminate the need for any type of gas system to be present in your home.

The main benefits to choosing alternative fuel sources

Breaking free from oil systems for your heating can be an extremely liberating process. As more people continue to break away from this traditional norm and go into alternative fuels, we can see the huge impact it is having on our environment. Alternative fuels can lead to a much greener lifestyle, even changing over to fuels like bio diesel can help to eliminate some of the harmful omissions that are displaced from any type of traditional oil. Bio diesel is a clean burning fuel and choosing it or corn pellets can help to reduce the residue that would typically build up in any furnace or heating system. If more people were willing to switch over to these systems that produce less emissions, we would see a massive change in our environment and much more sustainable processes for generating energy.

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Efficiency with alternative fuels

Wood and heating oil are considered to be roughly 75% efficient for heating your home. These methods are definitely not considered to be the cheapest for heating your home. With 25% of the materials basically lost and inefficient for generating any type of heat, we can begin to understand just how expensive traditional fuels can be.

Alternative fuels like vegetable oil have an 85% efficiency rating. This means that just making the switch over to a bio diesel could help you to generate more heat with far less material. Pellet stoves are also one of the most efficient heat ratings from any energy source. It is estimated that 90% of pellet fuel results in heat generation. This makes a pellet one of the best for generating heat as it is slow burning and has a high heating point.

builder fitting in solar panels

The cost considerations of switching

The idea of switching over to alternative fuels may sound great for your property. And while there are some systems that can be considered more efficient than others the cost for conversion may greatly outweigh some of the benefits. When you are looking into the cost considerations of switching to alternative energy sources it is important to consider some of the savings that you will see over time and the overall efficiency benefits that you will receive as well. Making the conversion over to an alternative energy source like a pellet stove or solar heating can often require a bit of extra expense up front. There are usually payment plans available to help you cover the cost of solar systems, but the initial investment may often require a large payment up front.

Some other considerations include:

  • The size of the system required for heating your home
  • How much your fuel needs fluctuate with the season
  • Measures you can take inside the home for heating efficiency
  • Tax credits you may qualify for with green energy

How to improve heating efficiency as you make the switch

If you are going to be making the switch over to alternative fuels, you can also make some changes inside your home to make sure it can be heated even more efficiently. By taking some of these recommendations on board you can keep your home more efficient and ready for an alternative fuel source.

These are some of the best steps to take for preparing your home for a new heating source:

If you have older style insulation in your home it could be time to bolster these resources with some spray foam. Adding in new installation if needed or adding in some spray foam can ensure that the heat that you are generating will not have the chance to escape from your home. Looking at your in-home insulation is sometimes a major requirement in switching over to a new fuel source.

If you have older style windows it is possible that you could have some areas where you are creating drafts. An older style window will not keep heat in as effectively as using energy-efficient windows throughout your home. Upgrading your windows or replacing any older style windows can often be a great move in maintaining home efficiency.

The seals on your doors also play a big part in keeping heat inside your home. Checking a seal on your door or even replacing your weather-stripping can go a long way in maintaining home efficiency. If you go through all the entrance ways in your house to check for drafts, this can work to cut down on heating costs.

Even with brand-new windows heat loss can occur around any window areas. Installing heavier drapery can work to cut down on your heating costs and keep more of the heat in your home.


Keep some of these ideas in mind concerning alternative fuels inside your home. Making the choice to prepare your home for and then making the change over to alternative fuels can have a massive effect on the environment and on your cost savings. If more people were willing to make the switch to alternative fuels we would see a massive impact on the environment around us and some improvements to home energy savings as well.

Start by selecting the option that works best for you and then work at making improvements to your home before you make the switchover. If your space is ready to take on an alternative heating source, you can switch over to green heating and already have all the measures in place to make sure your new system reduces the need for you to take out additional financing e.g. a personal or online loan.