Green Energy Resources for HomeownersApr 15, 2009
Homeowners are always seeking new and improved ways to make their homes run more efficiently while cutting their energy costs. With the advancements of environmentally friendly energy resources there is a variety of renewable energy technologies that homeowners can use in their home.
Renewable energy resources that are available today are:
- Geothermal direct use – this method uses the supply of geothermal heated water from a reservoir underground to heat the building or home the system is installed in.
- Geothermal heat pumps – this system uses the air from within the earth’s ground to heat and cool a building through the use of a ground heat exchanger, heat pump unit and ductwork. This system not only saves money, it reduces air pollution.
- Solar Cell systems – through solar cell systems, or photovoltaics, sunlight is directly converted into solar electricity.
- Solar hot water systems – used most often for hot water tanks and swimming pools, this unit uses the sun’s energy to heat water and then transports it to a holding tank for use.
- Biofuels – this is where biomass is converted into fuels for mechanical engines such as your car. Most common biofuels are ethanol and biodiesel. Both cut air pollution produced from vehicles and machinery.
- Passive solar heating and daylighting – best if utilized when the building is a new build, this incorporates the use of natural sunlight to heat and light the building throughout the day through the use and location of windows.
- Wind energy – as the name suggests, harnessing the wind to make energy. Used as an energy source for hundreds of years, today’s windmills are wind turbines that catch the wind through blades that work much like propellers.
- Wood heating – used for as long as humans have been heating their homes and cooking, wood is a natural biomass energy source. However today there are additional biomass fuels available for energy including food crops (corn), wood and grassy plants, organic compounds of various wastes and fumes.
For more information about the renewable energy sources for your home visit the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the U.S. Department of Energy’s websites.