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Alternative Ways to Heat Your Home

Throughout 2009, all we’ve heard on the news has been doom and gloom—the economy’s gone down the toilet, oil prices are rising faster than skyscrapers in Dubai, and climate change threatens to bring about the downfall of the human race in some kind of crushing environmental apocalypse. In many ways, it’s enough to make you want to throw in the towel, build yourself an emergency bunker, and await the end of the world as we know it.

Of course, there are also several pro-active options that are rapidly becoming more popular, that help to counter all three of these problems. One of the most easily accessible of these money-and-environment-saving methods is to change how you heat your home. Over the last decade several new methods of heating your home have crept out of the woodwork, and never have they looked more attractive than they do now.

Solar paneling is probably the most common and easily-visible of these options. Using a system of solar panels to collect and store heat from the sun during daylight hours, the average solar heating system has been proven to cut energy costs by 30-70 percent. Heat is stored either in a hot water cylinder that functions in much the same way as a standard boiler, before being piped throughout the flooring of the house. In some states and countries grants are available for homes wishing to switch their houses across to solar power, if you also have photovoltaic solar power paneling put in to provide electricity many electricity companies will offer to buy any surplus energy from you. Not only can solar paneling save you money, it can actually make you money too! It also gives your house a funky sci-fi look, if such things are important to you.

A second option is simply trading in central heating for a good, old-fashioned stove, strategically positioned throughout the house. Gone are the days when an open fire would smoke out the entire domicile – modern scrubbing and cleaning technology gets rid of this problem almost entirely. Most stoves burn locally-available materials such as wood chips and corn, or green, easily-produced fuels such as biodiesel. Dependent on the size of the house, a couple of stoves can often produce enough heat to heat the majority of the property and reducing the need for costly central heating.

Lastly, if you are lucky enough to live near hot springs or anywhere where the Earth’s crust is sufficiently thin, why not let Gaia do the heating for you? Geothermal heating involves drawing heat from under the soil and distributing it throughout the house by means of a special fluid. The big bonus of a geothermal heating system is that it can be fitted to the existing pipe-work.

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