A warm, dry home is essential to the health of your family in the colder months. But heating can be such a massive energy consumer! It can add significant dollars to your energy bills and use precious non-renewable energy sources.
So, is it possible to heat your home more sustainably?
It sure is. And we have the top sustainable heating tips right here…
How to use sustainable heating In your home…
Before you should even look at heating options, you need to consider what you are working with. There is no point blasting the heater if your home is not equipped to hold the heat in!
Insulation: heat simply escapes from your home if it is not well insulated. So, it is important to check the insulation in your walls (a big job we know), your floors, and in your ceiling space.
If you have halogen downlights, you might want to consider switching to a closed LED alternative for two reasons. The first is that as heat rises, it trickles out the halogen light fitting hole and into the roof cavity. The second is that it is a fire hazard to cover a halogen light fitting with insulation, gaps must be left to prevent fire, but this also results in gaps in your insulation and less heat retention.
Minimise drafts: drafts are a great way to make your heating ineffective. You need to find them and eliminate them! Use draft exclusion tape on old windows or doors, plus a rolled-up towel or blanket to stop drafts creeping under doors also. Pet doors are also huge draft offenders. If yours is letting the cold in, you could try hanging a heavy piece of fabric on either side to negate the cold air.
Use window coverings: a lot of heat can be lost out of an uncovered window. Make sure that you have properly fitted curtains or blinds on all your windows. The curtains should fit outside the frame and hang below the window sill, preferably all the way to the floor. Make sure they are closed all the way with no gaps to insulate those cold window spaces.
Use floor coverings: wooden floors can look amazing, but they can be drafty. Instead of bare floorboards, put some cosy rugs down to keep those feet from freezing and make your heating more efficient.
Consider double glazing: double glazed windows are designed to keep your house warmer in winter and cooler in summer. They also block out of lot of noise, but that’s an aside, we are focusing on sustainable heating here!
Sustainable heating options
Once your home is prepared for maximum heating efficiency, it is time to choose the heat source that is most efficient…
#1 Wood Burning Fireplace: One of the most cost effective, sustainable, and efficient heating sources is a wood burning fireplace. Especially if you use a ducting system to transfer the heat around your home. They are environmentally friendly as they produce little pollution and burn wood - a renewable energy source. There is however an air quality/ pollution aspect that you need to consider.
#2 Heat Pump: If you do not have a wood burner, then a heat pump is your next best alternative for cost effective and efficient heating. Especially if you can power it with stored solar power from the day’s sunlight. Only turn it on when you need it, keep the thermostat low, and close the doors to rooms you aren’t using to maximise the efficiency.
#3 Electric Heaters: In some cases, if you are only looking to heat a small room, a small electric heater can be more efficient than other heating options. Keep the thermostat low and the door to the room shut to contain the heat.
It should be noted that flued gas heating can be more cost and heat efficient than their electrical counterparts, but the gas emissions can help contribute towards climate change. Avoid portable gas heaters completely - they are a fire hazard and release harmful gases into your home.
7 Top tips to maximise your heating:
close your curtains before it is completely dark to trap the heat of the day in,
open your doors and windows on sunny days to air out your home and to let the heat of the sun in,
invest in slippers - you can lose a lot of heat out of your feet,
put on another layer or grab a blanket before you automatically turn on the heater,
if you use the oven to cook dinner, leave it ajar as it cools (only if safe to do so in your house).
Disclaimer As with all our blogs, the information detailed here is general in nature and meant as a preliminary guide only. This should not be substituted for your own investigations or use of your own professional’s. Planning Plus is not liable for any errors or omissions.