Comfort is on the Horizon

Alternative Home Heating Technologies Have Arrived

Alternative Home Heating Technologies Have Arrived

The Future is Now for Home Furnaces and Heating Systems!

As our world continues to contemplate the efficiency of existing heating technologies and more and more homeowners become concerned about depleting natural resources, especially fossil fuels, there have been several new innovations in home heating. Here we outline three of the leading alternative heating technologies.

Solar Panels:

Solar panels use photovoltaic cells to change sunlight to electricity. To use this technology effectively, a home needs a south-facing roof with a precise pitch so that the cells are exposed to maximum sunlight. While other heating sources like traditional furnaces and hybrid heating systems are still cheaper for most homeowners, solar panel heating systems are growing in popularity every year thanks to government subsidies and enthusiastic advocates.

According to one source, solar panel installation has increased nearly ten-fold since this time last year. For most homeowners, however, the cost of solar panel installation remains prohibitive. From start to finish, installation costs can run anywhere from $25,000 to more than $75,000 depending on geographical location and the size of the home. Even with government incentives and credits—which can often supplement almost half of the installation cost—it will take years for most homeowners to recoup the cost of initial installation.

Solar Furnaces:

Like solar panel heating systems, solar furnaces harness the power of the sun to heat your home. These devices work like a giant magnifying glass, concentrating sunlight on a single point to generate powerful heat. Highly reflective mirrors reflect the sun’s rays, creating temperatures up to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit for a standard furnace and more than 3000 degrees Fahrenheit for larger units. This heat can be converted to energy capable of powering a variety of other applications. Surprisingly, solar panels provide more efficient heating for residential furnaces, and solar furnaces are more effective at powering other things like ovens and other electric appliances.

The cost of a solar furnace is hard to pin down exactly. A crude solar furnace can be put together for as little as $10, while large commercial systems can cost millions. At this point, there are few middle-of-the-road options for homeowners who want to explore solar furnace heating, though there are several solar-powered oven ranges currently on the market. It is expected that this technology will experience rapid growth and development over the next five to ten years.

Geothermal Heating Systems:

The most tangible and efficient source of alternative home heating comes from the ground. More than half of the sun’s energy is absorbed into the ground, where it creates a nearly constant temperature that can be transferred to your home. Currently, geothermal heating has a much brighter future than most solar heating options available right now. Geothermal heating is an attractive choice for new home construction and green renovations, as it is much more affordable initially than solar options and pays for itself in just a few years with increased utility savings.

Interested in Alternative or Traditional Heating Solutions?

Contact the heating professionals at Horizon Services, Inc. Our experienced Comfort Consultants can perform a FREE, no-obligation In-Home Energy Analysis of your home to assess your home’s heating and cooling requirements AND recommend a variety of energy-efficient heating and cooling systems that will both maximize your comfort and reduce your utility bills.