When you think of sustainable heating, alternatives like active solar and geothermal systems might come to mind. Even if it’s not feasible to make major retrofits like these, you can still take steps toward green heating so you have a more sustainable home this winter.
Here are some suggestions on how to heat greener to reduce your carbon footprint and lower your utility bills:
Improve Your Home’s Energy Efficiency
If sustainability is your goal, you’ll want to tighten up your home’s envelope to reduce energy waste. This is essential, regardless of the method you use to heat your home. Having an energy audit performed is a good place to start, because it can pinpoint exactly where heat loss is occurring, and your inspection report will list recommended solutions, like:
- Air sealing the attic and adding more insulation between the floor joists
- Weatherizing the exterior to limit air leakage
- Upgrading to double- or triple-pane gas-filled windows
Optimize Your Existing HVAC System’s Efficiency
If your current heating equipment is relatively new, or a replacement isn’t in the budget, you might think it’s impossible to go greener but that’s not the case. Since sustainability is all about reducing reliance on fossil fuels, making sure your heating system uses the least amount possible is a step in the right direction. To do so, have the equipment professionally tuned-up before heating season starts, make sure all your heating vents stay open and unobstructed, and check the air filter monthly and replace it as soon as you see any build up of dirt and debris.
Make the Most of Today’s Technology
If you’re considering replacing your existing equipment, you have an opportunity to take advantage of efficiency-boosting technological advancements like a smart thermostat that learns your habits and automatically fine-tunes your energy consumption, or zoning for greater control if you have a large or multi-story home. A variable-speed air handler, and an ultra-efficient heat pump paired with a two-stage gas furnace are other green heating options worth considering.
For expert advice about green heating solutions for your Portland-area home, contact us today at Roth Heating & Cooling.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland, Oregon area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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