Keeping your house warm but in a green way is possible

       

Pippa James

During winter, it's very likely that your energy bill is relatively high. This is usually as a result of the cold weather and the need for heating to keep warm. Since the need for heating is somewhat inevitable, have you ever considered alternative forms of heating? If so, it's possible you've come across green heating options for heating your home. Not only will they save you money and the need for emergency credit options such as payday loans, but they're also great for the environment. Before delving into this new way of heating, it may be a good idea to do some research. This way you can explore all of your options and maximise your saving potential. We've put together this guide which contains green heating options that should give you a head start on your bid to reducing your energy bill.

What is renewable energy?

Renewable energy isn't a new concept; however, it is something that is quickly gaining more awareness. In summary, renewable energy refers to any form of energy that is collected from renewable resources that are constantly replenished. Examples of such resources include the sun, water, and wind to name a few. Renewable energy can be useful for generating electricity as well as heating and cooling air or water. For the purpose of this guide, we'll be looking at ways you can use it for cost-efficient heating.

Insulation

Before delving into a load of green heating options, it's important you assess how well your home is presently insulated. Drought proofing is said to help you save at least £25 a year. Making sure that it's properly insulated will reduce the amount of cold air that seeps through various outlets and into your home. Here are a few key ways we've come up with below that may cost a little investment but should reduce your need for direct payday lenders later on.


Understanding renewable energy

Cover the floor with a rug

Sometimes the floor has gaps that you might be unaware of. This means that if your heating is on, warm air may be escaping through these cracks. On the other hand, cold air may also be coming in from outside. It is, therefore, in your best interest to find a way to cover these gaps. An effective way you could consider is using a rug. You could also try putting a polyfoam board or fiberboard underlay beneath your rug for further insulation. Another option is to use sealant or caulking which will help fill the gaps in your floorboard.

What uses the most energy in your home?

  • Cooling and heating
  • Water heating
  • Washer and dryer
  • Lighting
  • Fridge
  • TV and gadgets
  • Oven (electric)

Make use of the sun

Although it's typically cold during winter, you shouldn't rule out the effectiveness of the sun when you're indoors. On those sunny winter days, it's worth opening the curtains and letting some sunshine in. It should bring some warmth to your house as well as a light. Don't forget to close the curtains once the sun is gone in order to keep the heat in.



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Prevent heat loss through windows

In a similar fashion to the floor, the windows are very likely to have a draft coming through. There are several low-cost ways to insulate the windows in your house. For starters, you can get heavier curtains which should keep the cold air outside where you want it. Velvet or heavy linen are suitable material options to help provide insulation and block out the draft. Secondly, similar to floorboards, you can plug the leaks using caulk on the inside and outside of your windows. Rubber weather sealing, window insulation film, and cellular shades are also other effective options. If you want to be on the fashionable side, you could consider using draft snakes which are fabric tubes that are usually placed wherever the draft is coming from. You can buy them from the store or take up in a little DIY by sewing them yourself.

Roof and loft

It is said that a quarter of your heat is lost through your roof or loft if your home isn't insulated. It might then be a good idea to consider insulating it as soon as possible. You can do it yourself if you don't have any serious issues with condensation and it isn't too damp. Your best bet may be using rolls of mineral wool insulation. You can either do some research and find out how to DIY or call in a professional to save the day.


Reduce your heating bill

Seal door frames

In a similar fashion to the windows, draft snakes are an excellent way to get rid of the draft that often comes from beneath the door. Consider using something to block the letter box as a draft can pass through it. An additional thing to consider is closing the doors of unused rooms in the house in order to prevent cold air from travelling around the house and keep heat trapped in each room.

Infrared heating

Infrared heating is another effective form of green heating for your home. With this form of heating, heat emits from the heater and then travels until it lands on an object. Radiation is then absorbed by the object, the molecules within it vibrate, and then heat is produced. Infrared heating not only heats the air, but it also heats the walls which means you get a reasonably warm house and dry walls. This means you also have less condensation and mould if any at all. Like some of the other green heating options, they may be relatively expensive in comparison to traditional heaters. A 600-watt panel which can heat a small room, for instance, is said to be about £230.

Other top hacks for heating green

Check out these further hints and tips for saving cash and saving the planet.

As a result of low levels of UV radiation during the winter in the UK, this form of energy might not be as effective as other parts of the globe as a sole source of home energy. It is, however, a good idea if you're looking to supplement your current energy source. If you're wondering how solar thermal heating works, it absorbs heat from the sun through tube panels on top of your roof and heats up your water or charges batteries, meaning you could save on the energy used.

Wood burning stoves are an effective way of heating your home. They are also clean-burning as well as renewable. Not only are they great for space management, but they're also relatively powerful and can heat most of your home. Do take into consideration that your home might be unevenly heated so if you have a fairly large home, you may need alternative forms of heating for some of the rooms. Instead of burning fossil fuels, these stoves burn small pellets primarily made of sawdust. This is definitely a better alternative for the environment. If you'd prefer not to have one inside of your house, perhaps consider options for an outside pellet stove. They work by heating your exterior walls and radiating through to heat the inside of your house. You can only use this form of heating if you have a chimney as you need proper ventilation. Make sure to consult a professional to have a look at your space and determine the size that's most suitable for your home.

This form of heating isn't completely green as it does use electricity, however, the amount it uses is very minimal. This makes it an effective energy saving solution to traditional forms of heating. If you opt for geo-thermal heat pumps, you'll need to have pipes six feet or so put under the ground below your house. By doing this you should have access to geothermal energy through the ducts your home should already have if you have central heating. The initial installation cost might be a bit pricey but taking into consideration the rising costs of energy, it may be a good long-term investment. You can also consider air source heat pumps if you don't want the ground source one mentioned above. This differs as it extracts renewable energy from the air outside to heat a refrigerant inside of the outdoor unit. This method also uses electric and works at extremely low temperatures meaning you'll almost indefinitely have a warm and cosy house during winter.

Insulate solid walls

Solid walls are said to lose a considerable amount of heat, so they are worth insulating. It can be relatively expensive to do so but may be worth it as a result of how much you'll save. You can insulate solid walls both internally and externally. Fitting insulation boards to the wall, otherwise known as dry lining, should do the trick for internal insulation. If you wish to do external insulation, you'll need to apply insulation material to the wall using adhesive and then cover it with either cladding or cement.

Remember, by properly insulating your house, it is more likely that you'll be able to turn down your thermostat, lower your energy bill and save cash. It might, therefore, be a short or long-term investment worth making. If you don't have much money to invest, natural cotton is a great insulator. Try using old jeans to insulate some of the areas mentioned above as a more cost-effective alternative.

Biomass

Biomass is essentially fuel that comes from living organisms that happen to have stored sunlight as chemical energy. When biomasses are burned, the energy inside comes out as heat. The most popular or common biomass fuel used in the UK happens to be logs made out of wood, wood chips, and pellets. If you decide to use biomass, bear in mind that it will require you to have enough space for the boiler as they tend to be much bigger than gas boilers. They are said to be pretty expensive costing around £20,000, to install. However, the future returns may justify the amount you're spending. You'll also need space to store the fuel. Take into consideration that the ash should be removed on a regular basis and they should be maintained for longevity. Although the initial investment may seem hefty, biomass is a great form of green heating with tangible future returns.

Photovolatics

Through photovolatics, sunlight is turned into electricity by using a solar panel. The good news is that you don't necessarily need direct sunlight in order for it to work, however, the stronger the sunlight is, the more electricity that's produced. You can use the electricity that you produce to power appliances inside of your home as well as to heat your house. If you have too much electricity, that is also an opportunity to make some extra cash. This can be done by selling the electricity back to the grid. Whatever the case, this method should enable you to save money and it's environmentally friendly as well.

Liquid based-active solar heating

This form of green energy works by using solar energy to heat liquid or the air. The solar heat is then transferred directly into the desired space or into a storage system to be used at a later time. If the solar system isn't able to adequately heat the space, a backup system picks up and provides the rest of the heat needed. For central heating, solar liquid collectors are said to be the most appropriate. If you do decide to invest in one, remember to try and estimate the cost and energy efficiency of a solar water heating system.

Conclusion

Keeping warm during cold periods of the year is very important for several reasons. As well as helping chase away colds, a warm house makes a house feel like a home. In some cases, as mentioned, you may need to consider investing in alternatives that will reduce your energy over time. On that note, insulating your home and considering some of the green heating alternatives that we've mentioned in our guide should help you pay less on heating your home. Switching to green heating alternatives will also go a long way in helping you do your part to help the environment.

For more hints and tips on hearting green click here.