With world crude oil and natural gas prices at the mercy of global commodity market prices and the current global political scenario, lowering your dependence on more traditional fuels by alternative fuels for heating home. for heating your home is a step in the right direction. You need to take some time and invest in alternative fuels for heating home. This not only helps in cutting down on your energy bills, but also has the added benefit that if ever the supply of these traditional fuels is impacted, say due to a natural disaster; you can be quite well prepared to tide it over until the situation is corrected and regular supplies resume.
Alternative Fuels For Heating Home:
We start off with the most traditional source of heating, something which all of us have probably used at some point of time or another. While wood burning does contribute to air pollution, modern wood burners are far more efficient than their older counterparts in that they will generate more heat by burning gases and other remaining particulates, substances which might be left unburned by more traditional fireplaces.
Also, while wood cannot match the economy of natural gas, it can actually compare very favorably with burning oil for Btu’s (British thermal units) generated. However, while wood would probably be the best alternative to natural gas and oil in that it can be much more accessible, storing and transporting wood can be a problem, especially for people living in urban areas.
While solar energy alone probably would not be able to meet your heating needs, the positives of solar energy as a green, renewable and economical source of energy cannot be disputed. Solar heating can be classified into two types, passive and active. Passive solar heating usually is something to consider when it comes to designing and building a house to harness the maximum out of the natural heating and light energy of the Sun.
This would involve optimization of both the building site and the materials involved; such as wood and larger windows which facilitate exposure to sunlight for as long as possible. Of course, this only applies to people who are looking to build a new house. For the rest of us, active solar heating, in the form of solar panels and collectors can go a long way in reducing both our energy bills and carbon footprint.
In fact, while the upfront investment can seem to be quite steep for most people, the savings generated from lesser dependence on natural gas and oil can make the investment very viable in just a couple of years. Also, according to the Department of Energy, a proper set up to harness solar energy can make up to 40-80% of a house’s heating needs. However, harnessing solar energy can be very region and climate dependent, and as such cannot entirely replace more traditional heating systems.
Biodiesel actually does make a very good alternative to oil based heating systems, in that is much less flammable, biodegradable and contains far lesser amounts of toxins and pollutants as compared to diesel. Biodiesel is made from vegetable oils, animal fat or left over grease. The key thing to check here in this case of an existing oil burning heating system is whether a particular blend of biodiesel will be compatible with your burner.
While biodiesel in its purest form (B100) is compatible with many newer commercially available burners; blends with less biodiesel content such as B5 (5% biodiesel content), B2 and even B20 are found to be much more compatible. Moreover, if you thought that producing biodiesel for everyday use is out of reach for most of us, think again. A basic biodiesel producing set-up, which can produce up to 40 gallons of fuel daily, can be had for less than $ 5000.
So, come this winter, we hope that you will too research the lower cost of using alternative fuels for your heating needs. Both the environment as well as your wallet will definitely thank you for it.