Extra insulation, a bit of plastic over the window and some time with a blow-dryer, closing off a room or two that gets little use: These are all simple ways to cut your heating bill each month, but with each passing year, the choices increase for using renewable energy as a viable source for heating your home, as well.
Put away the extra two layers of bulky sweaters and consider some of the more popular methods of using an alternative energy method to heat your home. While there are initial start-up costs, the long-term reward of saving the planet and your hard earned dollars offsets this.
While solar panels are gaining more popularity, indeed, they only provide about 1% of our energy needs in this country. Surely, this percentage is going to increase in the near future. There are three different methods used to harness this type of energy:
- Passive Solar Units capture heat from the sun to provide power for space heating and light sources in the home.
- Flat Plate Collectors force the sun’s warmth directly into the water to provide for hot water and some space heating, as well.
- Concentrating Solar Power Systems use both the sunlight and mirrors to collect a higher intensity heat source. This energy produces steam that then operates a generator to be used as a heat source for your home.
Clearly, there are many options to investigate for solar power for your home.
Because the energy from the wind is captured more efficiently and in higher quantities when it is higher off the ground, the average wind turbine stands approximately 260-300 feet high, and the blades reach another 200 feet into the air. With each revolution of the blade, energy is stored through the central shaft and empowers a generator.
The western states and Alaska have the best success with this method of harnessing power, simply because of their higher winds. Certainly, it is now used across the country as a pollutant-free way to heat your home.
In recent years, the turbine manufactures have been able to all but eliminate the noise factor. This was one of the primary concerns and frustrations regarding using this method, but changes in the manufacturing process have greatly decreased the bothersome din.
No reinventing the wheel here! While there are various methods and uses for biomass energy production, what the average homeowner needs to know is that this is also just a fancy name for ‘heating with wood or pellets.’
Woodstoves, fireplaces, and pellet stoves have been around forever, and they are all excellent, simple ways for us to supplement our seemingly never-ending need for fossil fuels. This method is entirely cost-efficient.
Which of these alternate energy methods would you most like to use (or currently use) to heat your home?
Valerie J. Wilson is a freelance writer for Reputation.com.
Image Credit: Shutterstock.com
Category: Money Basics