The threat of climate change is no longer up for debate; the effects of CO2 emissions are quite possibly one of the greatest threats of the 21st century. And though we might not be able to reverse much of the damage, we can progress toward a cleaner future by changing how we heat our homes.
Recent reports have determined that at least 35 per cent of total emissions are a direct result of fossil fuels consumed for the use of heating homes. This presents a critical opportunity: investigating and changing the ways that we heat our homes can be the first step toward a greener world. Fortunately, the technology is readily available.
By making the change from oil, electric and gas to a more renewable energy solution for heat, we can start making an impact on the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere. There exist a variety of options in doing this, such as biomass boilers and air-source heat pumps.
The objective in biomass is to utilise organically grown materials to burn and produce heat. This can help to cut down on overall CO2 emissions if the source of these materials, usually trees, is replaced in time to generate a sustainable cycle.
While they may not be particularly suitable for small properties, biomass boilers have proven effective in larger structures—especially if they’re off-grid.
With biomass boilers, homes and large, off-grid structures have an effective solution for providing heat based on renewable sources. If properly balanced by replanting trees and other organic sources of material, this can exist as a positive and clean cycle of energy production.
A greater adoption of biomass could see entire power plants working in harmony with the natural sources they harvest material from; this would provide heat for many homes at once.
Air-Source Heat Pumps
Another effective practice in helping to reduce the harm done to the planet through heating is to utilise air-source heat pumps in the home. By operating predominantly on ambient air from the environment, these devices are extremely sustainable and make excellent use of clean energy.
For the amount of electricity used to power them, the output of heat is more than twice the amount of those found in electric and oil heaters. They’re exceedingly efficient, and their main function produces zero emissions.
Ground- and air-sourced heat pumps also offer excellent forms of clean, renewable energy as they obtain air from a source that’s continually being renewed.
These methods require miniscule amounts of electricity to operate; the bulk of their operation is from clean, renewable sources. They also work to cut costs for consumers and stimulate an economy for alternative forms of energy.
Generating Heat Ourselves
The perspective of all of this can be seen as progress toward a goal of generating heat for homes on our own in a clean and renewable way—aiming to reduce emissions while also saving money. And, given the role that heating plays in overall CO2 emissions, it’s the best place to start.
By adopting already existing options, such as biomass and air-source heat pumps, in greater numbers, we can also create a greater demand for clean, alternative forms of power—incentivising Government policy and the private sector at the same time.
These are solutions to the challenge of climate change that are quite different from the norm, as the popular opinion of combating climate change is typically one centred on solar and wind power. The truth of the matter is that heat not only represents one of the largest contributors to climate change, but it’s one that people can take advantage of directly.
Gabriella Johnson is the Marketing Executive for Innasol which is based in Essex and offers a range of renewable energy systems in order to create an eco-friendly Britain