Of course, the cleanest fuel for heating (and possibly cooling) your home is solar energy, which produces no on-site emissions at all. New homes in cold or moderate climates should be designed to take advantage of passive solar heating. Active solar heating systems can be used in new or existing homes and are compatible with many conventional heating systems. Homeowners can use either solar air heating collectors for preheating of ventilation air or solar water heating collectors to supplement water heating systems. Solar energy can also be used to boost the performance of heat pumps, and an absorption heat pump will allow you to power an air conditioning system with solar energy.
Adapted from the Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings, 9th ed., by Jennifer Thorne Amann & Alex Wilson, with permission from New Society Publishers (www.newsociety.com), and from EERE’s Consumer Guide to Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy • www.eere.energy.gov
Online home heat loss calculator • www.builditsolar.com/References/Calculators/HeatLoss/HeatLoss.htm
Info on efficient furnaces, boilers, and heat pumps • www.energystar.gov
List of clean-burning wood heaters & fireplaces • www.epa.gov/woodstoves