Most modern homes come fitted with a host of gas-fuelled radiators, which can be ugly or positioned in inconvenient places. If you’re thinking of remodelling your home, you may want to consider some of the alternative options available for heating. Alternatively, you may live in an area without a gas supply, and you need a solution which won’t rely on this kind of fuel.
Luckily, there are a lot of options available, though some do come with a hefty upfront price tag. However, if they’re sustainable and renewable, it’s possible you could start to see a return on your investment very quickly.
Heating your home efficiently will not only be cheaper for you in the long run, but will also be better for the environment as fossil fuels are depleted, and harmful gases in the atmosphere are reduced.
These are a highly efficient way of using natural resources in the ground, air, or water as a part of the heating process. Put simply, the device takes in the natural heat around it and uses an electric pump to boost it to the desired temperature. A good system could convert each unit of electricity into three times as many units of heat.
However, they need an awful lot of that natural resource. Ground source, or geothermal, heat pumps will need around twice the area of the property you wish to heat in order to lay the ground pipes, which must be buried at least 1.5 metres deep, and water source pumps would need a nearby lake or stream to provide enough material to work with.
Air source heat pumps, on the other hand, are attached to the outside wall of the property, and simply draw in the heat from the air around it. These are growing in popularity as an efficient alternative; they look similar to a fan for an air conditioning unit, and as such would be considerably cheaper and easier to install than a ground or water source pump.
Solar heating systems are no longer the expensive green alternative, though they do come with their challenges. In basic terms, they use thermal energy from the sun to heat water in a storage tank which is then used to heat the property.
They’re not suitable for every home though, as you must be able to install the solar panels on a south or south-west facing roof, in order to benefit from enough exposure to the sun. However, they are becoming more popular and affordable, and because they depend on a renewable energy source, they also significantly reduce pollution.
If your home is suitably sized and located, you could see a return on your investment in as little as three to six years. Some local councils even have schemes available to assist with the cost of installation, which could help to reduce the initial financial outlay.
Radiant floor heat has recently become a popular inclusion in new-build homes, as it provides an energy-efficient and comfortable alternative. It also has the added benefit of not taking up any valuable space in smaller homes, leaving more room for furniture and the flow of movement through the property.
The advantages of under-floor heating are many; it operates quietly, it eliminates any heat loss through the ducts, and it’s less likely to distribute allergens than air-based systems. Some systems use electrical cables, and some use hot water pipes to distribute the heat.
Whilst it’s common in new-build homes, it’s not impossible to install it retrospectively in an older home, though it would likely be a more lengthy and expensive process.
Whilst gas radiators are a highly efficient way to heat your home, if it’s not possible or practical in your property, there’s a whole range of alternatives available. Advances in green technologies in recent years, as well as government funding in these areas, has made a lot of these alternatives much more affordable for the general public.
As climate change swiftly continues, it’s a good idea to start reducing your reliance on fossil fuels and considering more sustainable and renewable ideas for the future.