Green heating systems fall under two distinct categories: passive and active. Passive systems maximize nature’s ability to heat without furnaces. Active designs use a variety of mechanical heating and cooling systems. These systems run on solar power, geothermal power or other sources of green energy. Below are common green and renewable heating options for Cornelius, NC.
Earth is brimming with a seemingly limitless energy source deep beneath the surface. But you don’t really have to dig too deep to use this energy. Just a few feet under the surface the temperature is constant all year round. A geothermal system can use this energy to heat almost any kind of building.
Passive Solar Energy
The sun is the best provider of green energy. Solar power is renewable and constant, and most likely won’t run out any time soon. And you don’t need unsightly arrays of panes to enjoy the benefits of solar energy. Passive solar technology uses the building’s walls, windows, and floors to gather, store, and release energy from the sun. However, a passive solar home will still need mechanical equipment such as a radiant heating or forced air system.
Active Solar Energy
Active solar energy involves solar cells containing photovoltaic materials to convert sunlight directly into electricity. That electricity is used to heat a house. Although they’ve been around for decades, solar cells are not efficient. They covert a mere 10% of the sunlight they gather into energy. Photovoltaics can also be costly and it can take 12 to 15 years to recover the cost on your energy bill.
Hydronic heating systems (radiators) have also been around for decades. They’ve become more sophisticated and now use hot water piped through tubes that run under floorboards, through radiators or along base boards.
Generally powered by natural gas, absorption heating systems can also use solar or geothermal power. Although an absorption heat pump works like any other heat pump, there are two main differences. It is driven by a natural gas burner instead of electricity and it uses a water-ammonia solution instead of refrigerant. The solution absorbs Earth’s heat and then the pump moves the heated liquid into the house, thus warming the air.
Bottom line? Renewable heating options can help you reduce your Cornelius, NC heat bill, save on preventative maintenance, and reduce your carbon footprint by saving more energy.