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What is the most environmentally friendly way to heat your home?

By Michael Walkden

WHAT IS THE MOST ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY WAY TO HEAT YOUR HOME?

Did you know that about 40 per cent of a home’s energy use is from heating and cooling alone? That’s more than water heating, kitchen appliances or lighting. That’s a huge amount of carbon emissions being released in order to keep us comfortable and healthy, but surely there is a way to keep ourselves warm and still retain our green living standards? Let’s take a look at some of the most suitable methods for your real estate.

PASSIVE DESIGN

Passive design uses the natural heat-retaining traits of stone and concrete to absorb the sun’s rays, before radiating them out into a cleverly-designed home that spreads the heat throughout the home evenly. No artificial heating methods required!

Many homes in Australia and New Zealand, however, are not completely suitable for passive design. In order to be fully efficient, a property needs to be correctly orientated for the sun, have the right floor plan and even suitable shading. While it is certainly possible to adapt an existing piece of real estate to use passive design, it would require quite a lot of work in most cases. You might even find that the additional emissions produced by the construction process ends up offsetting the reductions anyway.

BACK TO BASICS

So, what about those people who can’t use passive design? Are oil heaters best? Heat pumps? Something else entirely? According to research from CSIRO, the NSW Department of Planning and Environment it is, in fact, the simple wood burner that is most environmentally-friendly for the common household.

Though we live in a technological wonderland these days, with innovation in all industries seemingly around every corner, we have yet to overcome wood as one of the most useful and renewable resources we have on the planet. So long as it is replaced at the same rate we burn it, and we purchase our firewood from renewable sources, an airtight, slow-burning fireplace gives you the chance to look after the planet as well as add an interesting feature to your home.

So, if you’re looking for a more environmentally-friendly way to keep your home warm and comfortable, one of these methods could be just the ticket. For more tips, tricks and home inspiration, be sure to check out the rest of the Ray White blog!

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