Fall is upon us and I’m receiving a slurry of phone calls about alternative energy heating systems. Tuesday's segment will focus on two of these types of heating systems.
Geo Thermal Heat Pumps/Radiant Floor Heat: Geothermal Ground Source heating is achieved by installing a series of pipes in the ground, either by means of large trenches or by drilling, similar to a well. The piping runs into the mechanical room where it is connected to a heat pump using the earth's constant temperature to provide heating and cooling year round. When combined with in-floor radiant heating Geo-Thermal heating is truly the most comfortable and efficient heating system available.
Radiant floor heat can be achieved using geothermal energy or electricity (solar electric roof tiles can provide the electricity). Radiant heat arguably provides the most comfortable heating solution available. The room is heated from the entire floor and heat rises and radiates uniformly dispensed into a heated room. Here is an excellent link that describes how it works http://www.janescompany.com/how_it_works.php.
Solar Energy via roof tiles: I love this! Solar roof tiles are now an alternative to the old large solar panels. The new solar roof tiles act as a collection grid for solar energy. The collection has become more sophisticated requiring less space for the batteries and higher efficiency for the collection of energy. The solar tiles are efficient and yes the tiles are effective in Seattle as the tiles collect energy even on rainy. days. Another great link on how this works, http://www.eagleroofing.com/greenBld_eagleSolarRoof.htm.
Another general purpose site for energy solutions is www.energystar.gov. This site also explains federal tax credits for energy efficiency. Most expire at the end of 2010, although geothermal systems have no $1,500 limit and the tax credit is available in future years.
Cheers, Tami Michaels