With skyrocketing energy bills and winter just around the corner, you should consider looking into alternative methods of heating your house. Your furnace might do the job, but is it affordable? Whether you use alternative heat sources in conjunction with your traditional furnace or you want to try something a little more energy efficient, there are plenty of choices out there to allow you to stay warm affordably.
Geothermal Heating Systems
These nifty little systems use the heat of the earth to warm your house. The stable temperature of the earth ranges from 45 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit depending on your home’s latitude, so the temperature inside the earth is often higher than the outside air thus taking less energy to get your house to a comfortable temperature. Big coils are buried and circulate a mixture of water and antifreeze. The liquid is heated to the temperature of the earth and then run through the house where a compressor pulls the heat from the water. These systems can also be used to cool your home in the summer, saving you from running the AC constantly. Up front costs can range from $7000 to $15000, but geothermals usually pay for themselves within six years of installation.
If you love the intense heat from a wood stove but don’t like the smoky smell that accompanies it, you should look into a pellet stove. These stoves are heated with renewable resources like sawdust or switchgrass and can heat an entire house. Up front costs of a pellet stove range from $1500 to $3000, while pellets usually run about $150-$200 a ton. On average, you should expect to go through two to three tons of pellets, meaning your heating bills could only cost you around $600! If you can find a local source of pellets, your costs will be even less as a big portion of pellet costs are comprised of freight charges.
Ductless Heat Pumps
Most traditional heating systems use ducts, which means that the air comes from the furnace and blows through ducts that are installed throughout the house. A ductless system uses small cut outs in the wall in individual rooms. The heat pump will pull cooler air from different rooms of the house and flush it into warmer areas with quiet fans. You can choose to heat just a few areas of the house or the whole house, whereas a furnace will make you heat the entire house. The ductless system is energy efficient and saves you from the wear and tear of constantly running a furnace. According to this site, there’s even an $800 rebate for houses that upgrade to ductless systems.
Don’t feel stuck this winter with crippling heating bills. Thanks to technology, you have a choice to take charge of your energy consumption and keep your wallet full even through the coldest days of winter.