While heating our living spaces has been a necessity since people first lived in shelters, how we heat those homes has changed over time. From traditional fuels like hardwood, oil and natural gas to newer options like recycled wood pellets and geothermal heat pumps, modern heating options exist in a wide range of styles. Some heating systems focus more on using sustainable and renewable energy options, while others work to get the most efficient operation of more traditional systems.
With a greater emphasis being placed on using sustainable energy sources and burning cleaner fuels than ever before, heating choices have become greatly varied. Many homes are now being designed to capitalize on passive heating potential, including passive solar heat. Other people are choosing to use available rebates and tax incentives to modify their existing heating systems to ones that are more Earth-friendly. How you choose to heat you home depends on a wide variety of factors, including where you live, local availability of fuels, construction options, financial concerns, and more.
But even if you are not in the market for a full new heating system, there are many ways you can still cut your home heating costs and reduce the amount of energy required to heat your home. Often small home improvements can add up to big savings for you by reducing the amount of energy it takes to keep your home comfortable throughout the year. Many changes are not expensive and can be completed by any homeowner to make a big impact!
For a wide variety of resources, visit the Mother Earth News Guide to Home Heating: Energy-Efficient, Renewable and Alternative Home Heating Options website for tips and strategies on improving the costs and efficiency of heating your home this winter. Other resources may be available for homeowners through your local utility company or energy audit company, such as National Grid, Eversource, Next Step Living, or Mass Save. Many assessments are free and some may provide energy-saving resources for residential customers at low or no charge.
Home heating in New England is always going to be a necessity, but with some planning and research it can be much more efficient for everyone!