With the news filled with stories surrounding environmental damage and the climate crisis, it’s only right that more and more people are looking into making switches to more sustainable solutions across their day-to-day lives.
But did you know that one of the biggest sources of pollution in the UK is actually home heating?
Even an average terraced house with an insulated life and modern gas boiler produces, on average, just under 3 tonnes of greenhouse gases every year! Which roughly equates to the greenhouse gases emitted by the fuel burned during a 12,000-mile road trip in an average car!
By switching to an eco-heating solution, you will not only dramatically reduce the amount of carbon emissions you produce, but you’ll also cut down on those rising energy bills too!
Fortunately, if you’re looking to go down the sustainable route for the heating and hot water in your home, then several options are available. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits and disadvantages of them all to help you decide which is best for your home.
Heat pumps are rapidly gaining popularity with those looking to go green with their heating solutions – and for good reason! They’re one of the most efficient ways to heat your home, and they can reduce your carbon footprint by two-thirds or more – win-win!
They work by essentially transferring heat from elsewhere to your home – like a reverse fridge!
All heat pumps function using this same principle; however, there are three different types of heat pumps, categorised by the heat source.
Ground Source Heat Pumps
As you’d expect, ground source heat pumps extract heat from the soil. The system is installed deep underground where temperatures remain pretty consistent year-round, and the heat is then pumped into your home.
Air Source Heat Pumps
Instead of using the heat from underground, air source heat pumps draw energy from the outside air. You can find air-to-air heat pumps, which are essentially air conditioners or you can also find air-to-water heat pumps that will heat your water too.
Water Source Heat Pumps
Water source heat pumps work by pumping the water directly from the source through the pump to extract energy. While they’re highly effective, they are only suitable for properties close to a large body of water.
Overall, heat pumps are a highly efficient and sustainable heating solution – for example, for every unit of electricity you use, a heat pump will produce 3 units of heat! However, the downside is the initial upfront cost and installation. Once installed though, a heat pump will pay for itself within roughly 5-8 years.
Another sustainable way to heat your home, and one that is rapidly growing in popularity, is electric radiators. Unlike traditional storage heaters that take forever to heat up, electric radiators are highly responsive – getting up to temperature in just minutes. Because of their efficiency, there’s no need to leave them on for hours on end like storage heaters meaning you dramatically reduce the amount of energy you use overall.
As well as this, electric radiators are smart and can be controlled remotely. Using smart controls for your heating means you significantly reduce the amount of wasted energy your home produces, meaning your household is more sustainable overall.
When in use, no harmful substances are produced as your radiators convert electricity into heat. However, the overall sustainability of your electric radiators is determined by the energy source you’re using to power them. If your home is powered by renewable energy then you’re doubling down on the sustainability of your electric radiators!
A newer product on the sustainable home heating scene, heat batteries are often used in conjunction with heat pumps in order to store the heat they produce for later use. However, they can also be charged using electricity. The stored heat can then be used in your home for instant hot water and for heating your radiators.
If you’re using your heat battery to store heat generated via electricity, you can keep your bills low by utilising lower tariffs overnight. Additionally, this reduces your carbon footprint, as the carbon intensity of overnight electricity is also lower.
Though the upfront costs of purchasing and installing a heat battery in your home may seem high, they could reduce your energy bills by up to 40%.
Solar Thermal Systems
Using the renewable source of the sun, solar thermal systems take heat from the sun and use it to heat up the water in your tank, ready for use in the home whenever you need it. This hot water can then be used directly for showers, baths, etc. or in suitable space heaters and radiators to heat the home.
By removing the need to burn any sort of fuel, using a solar thermal system will dramatically reduce your carbon footprint – as well as your energy bills! The only downside is that they’re not suitable for everyone as you require a roof that faces between southeast and southwest. Plus the initial costs are rather high however, they will pay for themselves within 5-10 years in the money you save on your bills.
Which solution is right for me?
The systems we’ve discussed are all capable of offering the same level of warmth as existing carbon-intensive choices, while significantly reducing both your carbon footprint and your bills. But how do you know which one to choose?
There are a number of factors that go into deciding on the best home heating solution, including your budget, your property type, the location of your home, and more. The best thing to do is speak to an expert who can survey your property and devise the right system for you.
If you’re looking to lower both your energy bills and your carbon footprint at the same time, then speak to our team here at North East Heating Solutions – we’ll help you find the perfect solution for your property!