HVAC systems can have a substantial negative impact on the environment due to the fact that they are almost constantly being run to heat or cool down your home, usually fueled by resources that are not renewable. However, as more and more people start to become concerned about the environment, new green HVAC alternatives have started to crop up and become more and more common.
Biomass for Heating
Biomass is an easy and efficient way to heat your home that has a lower impact on the environment than heating your home by traditional sources. Biomass heating systems take the stored energy of natural products, like organisms and waste products, which is then used as a more friendly heat source. Using biomass is cheaper to maintain and can last longer than propane, natural gas or regular fuel oil.
Biomass is a green, energy efficient fuel source for a number of different reasons. For one, unlike coal or oil, which takes millions of years to form and is not renewable, biomass is made from plants and waste that can quickly be replaced. Biomass also greatly negates a carbon footprint. This is because as plants grow they take in carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and convert it into oxygen. When the biomass is used for fuel, the carbon dioxide that it produces is carbon dioxide that has already been removed from the atmosphere by the plants. When new plants are immediately planted, they recycle the carbon dioxide emitted during the use of biomass. This means that carbon dioxide is constantly being recycled, decreasing carbon emissions that would otherwise linger and add to the overall carbon concentration in our environment.
To make it easier to understand, carbon dioxide is absorbed by the plants, the plants are burned for fuel, releasing carbon dioxide that already existed in the environment, new plants are planted that take in the carbon dioxide released by the process, converting it to oxygen. This is in contrast to fossil fuels that emit carbon dioxide, but cannot, and do not, re-absorb carbon dioxide.
Hydronic heating is definitely not your grandma's radiator. Hydronic heating systems work in a very simple way. To heat your home with a hydronic system, sophisticated water piping systems are installed under the floor of your home. A boiler heats up water, through either geothermal or solar energy, and then the heated liquid passes through the tubing into the heat exchange unit. From there, it is pumped through your home where it easily and efficiently heats your home. It's a three step process that involves the initial conduction, then convection and finally radiation. The radiation is the final step that helps completely heat your home.
Ice Powered AC
Not to be confused with a swamp cooler, the ice powered air conditioner looks more like an ice machine than anything else, but this system is used to keep your home cool during the day. The ice powered AC system works in a rather ingenious way. During the night, when you typically are not using your AC, the ice powered AC unit creates a large amount of ice. Typical ice air conditioning tanks store up to around 450 gallons of liquid that is made into ice, and then stored for use. The next day, the ice that was created at night gets to work cooling down refrigerant that is then used to cool down your house. This makes for a nice comfortable temperature for your house during the day, and cuts your overall energy consumption by around 30%.
Using energy from wind turbines to generate power for homes is now becoming more common in residential areas. There are now efficient ways to use wind power to generate enough power for electricity and heat without having to build multiple giant wind turbines in your yard.
A wind turbine works in a relatively simple way. The wind turbine rotates magnets in such a way that it generates resistance. The resistance is used to warm a copper plate inside the unit itself. Once the copper has been heated up, fresh water is pumped through the tubing and heated up by the completely natural spinning and heating process. This water is then used to heat your home.
For more information about these and other HVAC systems, contact a local heating and cooling company.