Heating the home. Not the most fun subject out there, but an awfully important one in terms of your everyday life and utility spending. From understanding the value of a good, reliable boiler through to effectively managing your usage so you’re not spending a fortune across the year, knowing what’s what when it comes to warming your home is a useful skill to have.
In 2021, particularly when it comes to things like utilities, there are a few key priorities for your average consumer. First, we all want to save money. Second, we would all like to see more sustainability from our key services. Third, the more tech-savvy and resourceful these processes can be, the better. An idealistic list for something as basic as heating, you might say, but actually a perfectly feasible one through a new, cheaper, more eco-friendly, and contemporary way of warming your home: green heating.
Green heating is the future of central heating, but you can invest in it today. Here are the whats and whys behind this sustainable movement.
What is green heating?
Green heating, or eco-heating as it’s sometimes known, is a term used to describe heating provided through a green energy source i.e., a sustainable source that offers environmental benefits like greenhouse gas reduction. Sources of green heating include a number of new energy types such as geothermal, solar, wind and biogas – all of which play are playing an increasingly important role in limiting our collective carbon footprint.
With over 90% of UK homes being heated via a gas or oil boiler, which is powered by “brown” or non-renewable energy sources, green heating is still a burgeoning and largely untapped eco-resource that can make a huge impact on national sustainability. As we collectively hold ourselves to higher environmental standards, eco-heating is set to become a cornerstone of our utility provisions, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait around to get involved.
Why should you invest?
The obvious benefits of green heating lie in its much-improved sustainability qualities against traditional methods. Green or renewable sources don’t cause pollution in the same way their fossil fuel counterparts do, removing the need for coal or gas to be burned and thus vastly minimizing their comparative carbon footprint. The sources of energy for eco-heating are endless, with some energy businesses even developing heating systems based solely on organic waste from food, grass clippings, and manure.
While some of these core systems are still too expensive for the average person to afford, options like heat pumps are becoming more widely accessible. Getting past the installation phase, green heating systems are markedly cheaper to run because users are no longer paying for fossil fuel use. The only running cost of a solar heating system, for example, is maintenance.
Considering how much of a part utility costs play in our weekly, monthly and annual budgets, green heating presents an attractive economic prospect to users. The initial investment may be significant but could be worthwhile for those looking to manage their finances better in the long run.
What can you change?
Even if a complete overhaul of your heating system doesn’t seem the right move, for now, there are several fundamental changes you can make to your home heating setup that can make things cheaper, more sustainable, and more future-ready:
- Insulation: Outside of the system itself, addressing your insulation is probably the most impactful change you can make in your home. You can pay around £50 for an energy performance assessor to come to your home and identify the best insulation options available for you going forward – these include things like window and external wall insulation upgrades, thermal wallpaper, insulating paints, and high-tech plaster.
- Smart controls: Using smart controls to effectively manage your heating has become an increasingly popular method these past few years. Installing them won’t cost you a lot (around £200-£250), and you should begin to see a return on your investment within around five years. No to mention they will make the admin of heating your home loads easier.
- Alternative heating options: If you are looking to go the extra mile and invest in newer heating technologies, there are a number of green heating options worthy of consideration. As already mentioned, heat pumps are currently the most efficient of them, but options like heat batteries, high heat retention storage heaters, electric radiators, infrared heaters, and biomass boilers are all due to become more commonly used tools in the future.
If your carbon footprint matters to you, then charity really begins at home. With most of the UK still relying on traditional boiler systems to heat their homes, invest in eco-heating today and you’ll be getting yourself ahead of the crowd.