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Energy-Efficient Heating Options

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

Wind is blowing, leaves are falling and snow is on its way. Don't fight with the energy bill this year. There are other more cost-effective solutions than a standard furnace to heat your home. Invest in these energy-efficient options and heat your home in style without breaking the bank.

Solar Energy System

Solar panels composed of photovoltaic cells installed on your roof collect solar energy from both direct sunlight and ultraviolet radiation. Once the panels are warmer than the air in your home, a fan is activated that blows air into the existing duct work and circulates it throughout the house. Panels can be added to a home at any time and last for years. More durable and affordable than in the past, panels can last 20-40 years with proper care and are extremely energy efficient.

Pellet Stove

A newer form of wood stove is a pellet stove, made for burning small, shaped pieces of sawdust. These specially made pellets burn cleanly, leaving little ash for less chimney cleaning than traditional wood-burning stoves. Pellets are also renewable and affordable.

Pellet Boiler

Replace our old boiler with a steel or cast iron Pellet Boiler. Similar to the pellets in pellet stoves, these boilers burn densely compressed pellets made from sawdust or other wood debris that retain little moisture. Pellet boilers are more energy efficient and burn cleaner than traditional boilers.

Ductless Heat Pump

Much heated air is lost in the maze of ductwork in a home. Avoid this heat loss by installing a ductless split heat pump, developed in Japan over 30 years ago. This system uses an indoor and an outdoor air handler to transfer heat into your home. Rather than air going to a central area, it goes to zones where the indoor units are placed. Heat only the areas of your home you want heated at any given time.

Custom Option

Those building a new home can add radiant heat wires beneath the flooring, which heats the flooring materials thereby warming the home from the bottom up. Choose flooring that holds heat, such as ceramic or porcelain tiles or any type of stone. While this heating solution adds to contractor costs, the long-term savings are worth the additional expense. Ditch the slippers this winter with radiant heat flooring.

Energy Programs

Energy-efficiency rebates are given by the New Hampshire electric and natural gas utilities in conjunction with the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission. New Hampshire residents should contact their local utility company for more information.

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