Toasty winter evenings in your own home are a worthy life goal. However, you don’t need to give up on your eco-friendly ways to stay warm; having an energy-efficient boiler is the secret. That way you can have it all – creature comforts while saving the planet. Read our environmentally-friendly tips to see how.
Electric boilers: Greener than gas boilers
Renewable electricity is a reality in today’s world. If you’re reading this article, it’s likely that you have already switched to a 100% green electricity company. If you haven’t yet, it’s easy to find energy companies that make an effort to source electricity from sustainable generators, such as wind power.
To recap, if your boiler is all-electric, you’re already halfway there. To really make a difference, make sure your electricity provider is as green as you are.
Heat pumps: Nordic efficiency
If you want to kick things up a notch, heat pumps are worth a look. They essentially work like your fridge but in reverse. Heat pumps exploit differences between outdoor air or ground temperature and their sealed coolant circuit. Simply stated, they are able to pull heat from outside to bring it right into your home.
Heat pumps normally blow boilers out of the water when it comes to energy efficiency and green standards. So much so, most European governments will encourage people to get them for their homes through grants and incentives. In the UK, they are one of the few home heating options eligible for the Renewable Heat Incentive which rewards you with money for heating your home so efficiently.
However, heat pumps need underfloor heating or special radiators to reach their full potential. It’s worth speaking with an expert to understand how heat pumps can help keep your home warm and your pocket heavy.
Solid fuel boilers make eco fertiliser
Rural households often have to contend with expensive oil or LPG boilers and heating systems. A much greener option marries old and new technology: solid fuel boilers. These state-of-the-art boilers are powered by wood chips or pellets sourced from sustainable forestry operations – pretty much a carbon-neutral fuel.
The slight downside with wood-fired boilers is that you need to periodically clear out the ash that’s left behind. Although if you have a green thumb you might be interested to hear that the leftover ash can be used as a powerful but eco-friendly fertiliser in your garden.
Dress up your boiler
Most boilers will see a performance and efficiency boost when their hot water tank is well insulated. In order to enhance any built-in insulation, you can add a boiler jacket around the hot water tank, an extra layer of material to prevent heat from escaping too fast. It’s like putting a thick coat on your boiler.
Before buying a boiler jacket, you should check your boiler instruction manual for any recommendations and make sure you’re not covering up any parts that need ventilation. Alternatively, a qualified boiler engineer can advise you with regards to your specific boiler type.
Everyone wins when your boiler is kitted out with a thermal jacket. You get hotter water for longer and the environment gets fewer greenhouse emissions.
Replace that old clunker
The main thing to be aware of is that the older a boiler is, the less efficient it will be. Generally, it’s worth replacing your boiler at least every ten years to ensure both reliability and energy efficiency. A new boiler, whatever the type, will be both more environmentally-friendly and offer better performance overall.
Salman Zafar is an ecopreneur, consultant, advisor, speaker and journalist with expertise in waste management, waste-to-energy, renewable energy, environment protection, conservation and sustainable development. His geographical areas of focus include Asia, Middle East, Africa and Europe. Salman is the Founder of EcoMENA, a popular voluntary organization based in Qatar. He is also the Founder and CEO of BioEnergy Consult, a reputed consulting firm active in biomass, waste-to-energy and waste management segments.
Salman is a professional environmental writer with more than 350 popular articles to his credit. He is proactively engaged in creating mass environmental awareness in different parts of the world.
Salman Zafar can be reached at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org