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EnergySavers.gov recommends installing a solar heating system to provide 40%-80% of your heating needs. Most solar heating systems have at least a 10 year warranty, and some states offer tax credits for home solar thermal heating. Because air-based systems produce heat earlier and later in the day, solar air heaters may produce more usable energy over a longer time period. Air in the solar collectors cannot freeze in the winter, and small cracks in the collectors or piping are not problematic. Air space heating systems are usually room air heaters, which directly heat individual rooms. The solar collectors use either water or a non-toxic glycol antifreeze to absorb the thermal energy. Heated liquid from the solar collector travels through pipes in a concrete slab flooring, usually covered with tiles.
This kind of solar home heating system can work without a heat storage tank, although a tank is needed to control the temperature.
These systems take longer to warm up but, once operating, provide a consistent temperature. Liquid Solar Space HeatingLiquid solar thermal heating systems are best for central heating in the home. Geothermal home heating systems, also known as ground source heat pumps, is a system that transfers the temperature from the ground to your home. It uses stored solar energy from the ground beneath to provide energy for heating and hot water. In winter the heat pump collects the Earth’s natural heat through pipes, called a loop, and installed below the surface of the ground or submersed in a pond or lake. Vertical coils are ideal for installation where space is limited, fitted to a depth of up to 200 metres minimising the land required on the surface, keeping disruption to a minimum.
Many use air handling units to deliver heat – and that method has remained constant over the years. In order to heat a building, natural heat from the ground absorbs a colder refrigerant, which is circulated throughout the ground by a series of polyethelene tubing, which is generally positioned five to ten feet below the surface. Other methods of heating include forced air natural gas, oil, solar, propane, electric, radiant, and steam. One drawback to using geothermal heat compared to other energy sources is the cost to bring this natural heating method into a building.
On the flip side, its energy efficiency – using the Earth’s natural heat – is much greater than other heating sources resulting in lower utility costs, often fractions of the cost to use other heat sources.
Solar heating panels collect the thermal energy of the sun and use it to heat domestic hot water in a home or business. It is important to note that solar heating panels are not designed to work in conjunction with the central heating radiators. The solar heating panels gather the heat from solar radiation and transfer it to the domestic hot water system in the building. Orientation and tilt are probably the most important design factors affecting system efficiency, after the type of system selected. Solar heating panels are most efficient when mounted at an angle of tilt of about 30 degrees. There are several types of solar heating panels available but the evacuated tube collector is the most popular solar collector in general use in the UK. In an evacuated tube collector, small diameter metal pipes act as absorbers inside the larger evacuated glass tubes. A heat pipe collector incorporates a special heat transfer fluid that vaporises at low temperatures and is resistant to freezing. Evacuated tubes perform more efficiently than other collectors in cloudy weather and tend to reach higher temperatures than flat plate collectors.
Heat transfer fluid is typically a combination of propylene glycol and water which is the industry standard heat transfer fluid, for situations where freezing is likely. Most systems that heat domestic hot water directly have only hot water cylinder that typically has an auxiliary coil. Packaged systems can greatly simplify installation, save space and reduce labour costs. Solar water heating systems use heat from the sun to work alongside your conventional hot water boiler.
The cost and availability of our natural resources are two of today’s major concerns. One thing we can control however is our own demand for fuel needed to heat and cool our homes. Residential geothermal heating and cooling describes the use of energy closer to the surface also called ground source energy. Over one million homes in the United States today use geothermal heating and cooling installations.
Geothermal systems benefit from the earth’s ability to store solar energy.  Mild heat exists in steady supply at depths ranging from six feet to a few hundred feet below the surface of the earth. To create an even more energy efficient home, many homeowners include passive solar features within their living space as well! The heat pump is a device which transfers heat from one source to another.  In some systems this heat is created using water drawn from a nearby well. Closed Loop –  With a closed loop geothermal system, a special type of antifreeze solution is pumped continuously through underground piping, absorbing mild temperatures from the earth or a pond and transferring it to the home. Open Loop – An open loop geothermal system uses water pumped through the system from a geothermal well. When most people think of home solar heating, they picture panels attached to the roof or installed somewhere near the home.

Boiler and radiator heating systems are already green in many respects, since they are one of the cleanest heating systems around when it comes to fostering good indoor air quality— a big plus in green remodeling circles.
So just what can you do to start saving money and the environment when it comes to heating your home?
Install a High-Efficiency Boiler—The energy efficiency of boilers and furnaces is measured by assigning each unit an AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) rating. Install a Sealed Combustion Boiler—Sealed combustion units draw air from outside your home for combustion instead of using indoor air. Install Zoned Hydronic Radiant Heating—Radiator heating systems, also referred to as radiant heating, are a favorite of green remodelers because they don’t dry out breathing passages, furniture, or other aspects of your home. Install a Geothermal Heat Pump—If you have a radiator heating system already installed, you might consider adding a geothermal heat pump. Properly Size Your New Boiler—Purchasing a properly sized boiler is just as important as buying an energy-efficient one. Turn Down the Thermostat—The biggest savings aren’t always found by spending big bucks. While thinking green when it comes to home heating is a smart choice for your pocketbook, your home, and the environment, it’s not unusual for homeowners to feel a little overwhelmed when presented with the full scope of green remodeling options.
If you do think green is the right choice for you, talk with your contractor about adopting a green remodeling philosophy, find a contractor who specializes in green building and remodeling, or seek out the services of a green consulting firm so that you can be sure your home heating system ends up as green as they come. If using a liquid space heating system, it is more economical to use the solar collector for hot water heating, too. As air from inside the home passes over the heat exchanger, the liquid inside heats the air.
Though the term Geothermal heating, as it is frequently referred to, sounds as though it uses hot rock energy it is, in most cases, stored solar energy. The underground loop draws excess heat from your home so it can be absorbed by the Earth, using it as a heat sink. It draws water from one, passes it through the heat exchanger and then discharges the water into the second well. Closed loop coils can be placed on the bottom of a pond or stream with enough depth and flow. By definition, geothermal heating comes from its direct use of geothermal energy, which comes from below the Earth’s surface.
This heat is transported via the refrigerant to a compressor inside a heat pump, where it is compressed and the lower temperatures are transformed from around 50 degrees to temperatures much higher, as high as 100 degrees of more.
The initial installation of a geothermal heating system is much higher than conventional natural gas heating – for example – because of the cost to install the tubing called a ground loop beneath the Earth’s surface. Energy savings could pay for the cost of installing the geothermal system over several years – another great characteristic of geothermal heating.
This heated water flows out of the solar heating panels to the hot water cylinder, and is used for sinks, washbasins, baths and showers. The ideal orientation is due south but any orientation on the southern half of the compass can be used, right up to due east or due west.
However, their is some flexibility and solar heating panels can be mounted at an angle as low as 12 degrees.
Evacuated tube collectors consist of rows of parallel, transparent glass tubes that have had the air removed. In an active system, the pump circulates heat transfer fluid through pipes from the storage tank to the solar heating panel.
The tank has hot water delivered directly from the solar heating panels, with supplemental heat coming from the boiler, to meet domestic needs.
The term geothermal means heat from the earth.  Both near the surface and deep within the ground, our planet can provide a continuous source of heat and energy.
Heat extracted from the magma far below the ground provides an environmentally friendly way to power the turbines of a power plant. It relies on geothermal technology to provide a sustainable source of energy to heat and cool our homes.
In fact, the US Environmental Protection Agency considers geothermal heating and cooling the cleanest and most energy efficient system of conditioning any home. A residential geothermal system efficiently uses this heat source to both heat and cool homes.
In other types, a fluid mix is circulated through shallow ground or a pond outside the house absorbing the mild temperatures from which heat can be extracted.
These loops of tubing can be run either horizontally at depths of six to eight feet or vertically to a depth of a few hundred feet using a geothermal well. Nevertheless, your boiler or radiator heating system can still benefit from going green, especially when it comes to reducing your home heating costs and improving your home’s energy efficiency. With home heating, plan to pay a little more upfront to install an energy-efficient unit or upgrade your current system. The real value of going green is far higher than any calculations involving dollars and cents. Furthermore, radiant heating systems don’t turn up dust and allergens like forced air systems. These systems pump water through a system of underground pipes to draw heat from the earth and then redistribute it throughout your home. In fact, you can kiss a good portion of your energy savings goodbye if your boiler is too big or too small, regardless of its AFUE rating.
Turn your thermostat down from 70 to 65 during the winter months, and you’ll save 10 percent on your monthly utility bill. In fact, one of the greenest heating systems around is the perfect fit for a boiler heated home. Once the solar radiation is absorbed, the air or fluid is transferred either directly to a space in the home or to a storage tank.

The air is heated as it travels through the collector, and is then blown back into the room. The liquid flows quickly through the collector, resulting in an increase in temperature of 10°–20°F (5.6°–11°C). In this case, the liquid from the collectors needs to be heated more by the backup system, or that a higher temperature collector be used (such as an evacuated tube collector).
The coil must be big enough to transfer enough heat to the air at the collector’s lowest operating temperature. Solar Air HeatingBecause air-based systems produce heat earlier and later in the day, solar air heaters may produce more usable energy over a longer time period. There, a compressor and a heat exchanger, driven by electricity, concentrate the Earth’s heat and release it inside the home at a higher temperature. The system cools your home just as a refrigerator keeps your food cool – by pulling heat from the interior, not by blowing in cold air. It takes about two or three gallons a minute per ton of capacity for effective heat exchange. Today, sophisticated building controls call for more efficient means of heat – and a method gaining in popularity is geothermal heating. How that air is heated from the source is what differentiates geothermal from other energy sources.
This hotter refrigerant is circulated through the tubing within an air handling unit, where colder return interior air absorbs the heat.
No other heat source, other than radiant heat, requires a series of tubing to deliver heat.
The central heating boiler can remain connected to the hot water tank for back-up, if desired. After giving up its heat, the condensed liquid then flows back into the base of the heat pipe. Evacuated tube collectors are also suited to situations requiring high temperature fluids, such as in commercial or industrial processes. Furthermore, as we use these resources, we must consider their impact on the environment both now and in the future. Geothermal heating and geothermal energy are proven technologies whose use continues to grow worldwide. During the warmer months, the heat pump reverses using water to transfer heat back into the ground to help with cooling.
The average ground source heat pump will last approximately 25 years, twice the life expectancy of most fuel burning systems. The choice of using a horizontal or vertical system will depend on the availability of space and the cost of installation.
A consistant supply of good, quality water is most important to the open loop geothermal system. If that sounds like something you’d be interested in, read on for some expert advice on what you can do to turn your home heating system green. Once you get that initial expenditure out of the way, however, you’ll enjoy a significant reduction in home energy costs for years to come. If you do install radiant heating, opt for a zoned system that allows you to heat specific areas of the house at different times, saving you 30 to 50 percent in energy costs over unzoned models. A radiant floor heating system produces some of the most energy-efficient, comfortable, and even heat in the industry. Going green is not an all-or-nothing proposition, making any step you take in a green direction a smart one, whether you simply turn your thermostat down a few degrees, or invest in a high-efficiency boiler, zoned radiant heating system, and radiant floor heating. Often a back-up system provides any additional heat that the solar home heater cannot produce.
The economics of This geothermal heat system is very economical, and without impact on the pond.
The constant, renewable temperature of the Earth (56-58 degrees on average below 10 feet) provides a heat source requiring no energy conversion, which adds to heating efficiency and ultimately, the cost to heat a building.
But then again, radiant heat does not require a ductwork system to transport heated air or remove colder air.
They are interconnected by a manifold, situated along the top of the solar heating panel. Because the heat pump transfers heat rather than creating it through combustion, efficiencies are much higher.  Heat pumps are estimated to be four times more efficient than fuel burning furnaces, making them far less expensive to operate. Considering that your home heating and cooling costs can easily account for more than 50 percent of your monthly utility bills, it’s easy to see how this is one green investment that pays back in spades over the life of your new unit.
When you look at it that way, it’s easy to see what Johnston means when he says that the real value of green remodeling is impossible to put a price tag on.
Solar Air CollectorsSolar hot air collectors are mounted on south-facing vertical walls or roofs.
The refrigerant, with the heat removed, now becomes colder as is re-circulated into the ground to absorb the natural, renewable heat. Radiant or steam heat is generated by mechanically raising the temperature of water or refrigerant via electricity. Geothermal requires a series of metals tubes to heat the refrigerant and the ductwork to move the heated air throughout the building. These methods differ from geothermal because the natural heat of the Earth provides the means for raising the temperature of the refrigerant used to transport heat to the air handling unit. Batch Solar Water HeatersBatch solar water heaters, also called integral collector-storage (ICS) systems, are made up of a water tank or tubes inside an insulated, glazed box.

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