Since I don't think my home is in a good position for reaping the benefits of solar panels, I am opting to go the heating cost route. I think there are a lot of ways I can make my house less "leaky," so that I can conserve more heat. And possibly, down the road, consider a different type of heat all-together.
Think about what it took to crack your home heating code. What made it easy? Hard?
Think about what you learned.. Did anything surprise you? Is there anything others should know?
Share the results of your thinking AND what you'll do now that you've cracked your home heating code!
I think for this challenge, research was the "easy" party! I'm still not done with my research, but I have narrowed down my options. Initially, I was thinking a heat pump might be more practical but after further reading/researching/investigating, I think a pellet stove is more realistic for my home.
I was surprised to read a statistic from co-opheatpumps.net that says: "Lower heating bills: Running a heat pump costs about the same as heating with natural gas or wood - and about 40% of the cost of heating with oil, kerosene or propane."
What surprised me about that statement was that running a heat pump costs about the same as heating with natural gas or wood. If my goal is to both help the environment and save money, it doesn't seem like a heat pump helps me in the "save money" arena. Than again, other literature I read said that there is a cost-savings associated with heat pumps.
I did think it was neat to read about how heat pumps work. And even though it seems like a "new" concept, since they are used in refridgerators the technology has been around for quite some time. It's now becoming more popular to use it on a larger scale for heating and cooling homes.
The idea of a pellet stove is a bit more familar to me. And the fact that they don't need to be vented through a chimney (since my only chimney vent is in the basement) makes it a more attractive option for me. If I could get a free-standing unit, I would avoid having to get another chimney vent set up.
I am going to continue researching pellet stoves throughout the spring and summer to see if they're a practical option for me come next fall.
In the mean time, I know I can continue to work on weatherizing my house so that it seals in heat better. I've had a winter to experience what my house is like and I know there are many improvements I can make next year so that it's warmer and more eco-friendly!