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Eco-friendly ways to keep homes warm during the winter

Tue, 12/04/2012 - 15:01

Homeowners intent on reducing their heating utilities can deploy a number of techniques and technologies. Modern advances have led to the development of various solutions to keeping heat inside the home using less and less energy.

According to Green Building Elements, properly insulating a home is the first step an owner can take to reduce energy expenses. Consider using different types of insulation around the house to ensure that heat better stays within the building. A contractor or insulating expert should be able to provide a homeowner will the pros and cons of various insulation materials so that he or she can weigh the options.

After a homeowner insulates every nook and cranny in the house, he or she may want to consider switching over to a more energy efficient heating technology. Traditional options like forced hot, hydronic (hot water baseboard) or steam radiant are outdated and inefficient in comparison to new systems like radiant floor heating.

The Oregon Department of Energy claims that radiant heating can save energy through the deployment of several mechanisms, including lower thermostat settings, lower-temperature boiler settings and reduced infiltration. Supporters of the system believe that someone traditionally comfortable at 72 degrees Fahrenheit will be equally or more comfortable in a house heated with radiant floor heating set at 68 degrees Fahrenheit. 

In addition to the decreased thermostat settings, the boiler temperature for a radiant floor system is lower than necessary with conventional baseboard hot water distribution, which slightly decreases utility costs.

Radiant floor heating is also compatible with green energy resources, according to the source, more so than many other traditional heating systems.