Home renewable energy solutions have been in existence for some years now and continue to be developed. They allow households that adopt them to lower their energy bills and their environmental footprints at the same time. How to heat your habitat ecologically? What are the advantages and disadvantages of renewable energy sources? What are the devices to put in place and how much do they cost? Is there an ideal home heating system? This article tells you everything about existing systems that use renewable energy for home heating.
Why use renewable energy as a means of home heating?
The first reason justifying the use of renewable energies is the environmental issue. Indeed, France is a signatory of the “2020 energy-climate package“. As part of this agreement drawn up by the European Union in 2008, the objective of the French State is to reach by 2020 23% of renewable energies. France therefore strongly encourages the use of heating devices that work thanks to renewable energies. The second reason relates to the substantial savings from the adoption of renewable energy solutions. Admittedly, the acquisition and assembly of equipment are expensive, but in the medium or long term, it is a good investment.
How to heat your habitat in an ecological way?
There are many sources of renewable energy that allow you to heat without negatively affecting the environment.
Among the sources of ecological renewable energies we have:
- the wood which is a component of biomass with a high calorific value and which can be obtained cheaply;
- the sun, which is an unlimited resource and has another notable advantage of not emitting any greenhouse gases when it is exploited;
- the heat of the earth that produces so-called geothermal energy; and,
- the heat of the air that provides aerothermal energy.
The use of one or the other of these renewable energies is conditioned to the installation of specific equipment.
How to make domestic heating with biomass?
The biomass is composed of organic materials such as wood, which are convertible into energy. In France, wood energy is the main source of renewable energy:
- it can be purchased in the form of pellets, wood chips, chips, pellets, sticks or briquettes; and,
- it is then used for domestic heating by means of a boiler or a suitable stove for example.
You should know that wood energy is the most economical and the most ecological of all renewable energies. Wood is indeed a raw material that exists in abundance and is renewed. As an illustration, every year, the European stock of wood grows by 770 million cubic meters. Wood forms mentioned above, the granule is particularly economical and is much cheaper than electricity, oil or gas. In addition, there are now wood pellet stoves up to 95% efficiency. It is then quite possible to heat all of your habitat with such a device. The pellet stove:
- also has an autonomy of several days;
- is adjustable and programmable;
- is not at all cumbersome;
- is easily installable; and,
- guarantees economical combustion.
What are the benefits of wood energy?
It should be known that wood energy has many advantages. First of all, wood is the appropriate complement for heating during off-season periods. Similarly, the C02 balance of wood energy is almost zero and the cost of this fuel is very affordable compared to fossil fuels. In this regard, the price of the log is almost insignificant in case you do not buy it and do it yourself.
Wood is also a source of energy that is totally renewed as long as forests are managed sustainably. It can also be used in many forms and as it is manufactured locally, it contributes to the growth or maintenance of the economy. Finally, the wood enjoys the stability of its price. Prices fluctuate weakly because of its independence from oil and gas conflicts.
What are the disadvantages of wood energy?
The use of wood as a source of energy can become binding if it is exclusively wood logs. In addition, the wood requires that the reload is performed regularly except for systems with automatic feeding. Also remember that apart from pellets, you will need a good place to store your firewood. This place should also be dry and airy. Finally, you have to learn how to properly regulate a heater that works with wood and make sure you take a good quality fuel. Because, if one of the two conditions was missing, the wood would become a major source of pollution.
How to make domestic heating with the sun?
You can heat your home with sunlight without spending a penny.
Just do what is called climate design. That is to say, to orient the rooms of the habitat and to position the openings as appropriate in order to raise the temperature inside. The other way to get warm ecologically through the sun is to use solar thermal panels. These are usually placed on rooftops and convert solar energy into heat. And the heat obtained is then transmitted to a water storage tank. Thus, water is heated and used to either supply radiators or operate a heated floor.
It is important to emphasize that confusion must not be made between solar thermal panels and photovoltaic panels. The two do not work in the same way, because photovoltaic panels turn into electrical energy, energy from the sun.
What are the benefits of solar thermal energy?
Already, the sun is a source of energy that is both inexhaustible and free! In addition, it does not emit carbon dioxide and its use is extremely simple. It is also possible to use solar thermal energy as a complement to another heating device already installed.
What are the disadvantages of solar thermal energy?
The first limitation of solar thermal energy is that it is entirely dependent on sunshine. Another limitation is that its performance is rarely enough to cover the heating needs of a habitat.
How to make domestic heating with geothermal or with the heater?
The geothermal is the method for operating the heat stored in the earth’s surface. It requires the installation of a geothermal heat pump. This one then captures, at first, the free heat of the earth that it transmits in a second time. The diffusion is done thanks to a device of radiators and by a circuit of hot water or heating.
The fan heater, for its part, allows domestic heating by using the calories from the air. We use either an air-to-air heat pump or an air-water heat pump to capture the calories from the air:
- in the case of an air-to-air heat pump, the calories captured are directly diffused inside the habitat;
- in the case of an air-water heat pump, however, these calories are injected into the heating circuit.
What are the advantages of the heat pump?
The heat pump provides up to 80% of free energy. In addition, this type of device is less and less noisy and can be used to produce hot water. With the heat pump, it is also not necessary to store fuel and the device can relay a boiler in use. It must also be remembered that the heat pump is compatible with the radiators already installed and that its use is reversible. It can also be used to refresh the habitat during the summer.
What are the disadvantages and limitations of the heat pump?
In addition to asking for high initial investment, the heat pump does not give a satisfactory performance in a unit heater, that is to say, very cold. Also, its installation requires to clear enough space for the installation of a sensor or drilling. Similarly, the heat pump, especially the aerothermal, generally generates noise. Finally, the heat pump works thanks to the electric current. So, we have to subscribe to a more expensive electricity subscription.
What are the costs of heating equipment using renewable energy?
Prices are of course dependent on many variables such as power, but also the capacity of the product on which you choose. We can only give you price ranges:
- for a wood pellet stove, plan to spend between 4,000 and 15,000 euros;
- a geothermal heat pump sells for between 20,000 and 50,000 euros;
- the air-water heat pump has a value between 10,000 and 18,000 euros;
- for the purchase of an air-to-air heat pump, you will need a grant of 6 000 to 15 000 euros
However, there are state aids and subsidies to support those who are considering buying such devices.
What help can you use to finance your work?
Significant financial investment must be made if one wishes to heat up using clean energy. The state is well aware of this and has therefore developed aid and subsidy programs. The energy transition tax credit (ISCED) is the most emblematic of these programs. It ensures you a refund of 30% of the money you will have spent to install an air-water heat pump. Other helpers you can access are for example:
- the energy bonus;
- the eco-loan at zero rates;
- the reduced VAT rate; and,
- the financial assistance of the National Agency for Housing (Anah )
Also, take information from your local communities. To do so, go to the website of the Departmental Agency for Housing Information (ADIL).
Is it possible to achieve domestic heating only through renewable energies?
As we have already said, heating up with renewable energies means choosing a choice that is both ecological and economical. And, know that you can only heat yourself thanks to renewable energies! But to do it, it will be necessary to combine several sources. For example, you can use solar thermal panels and complete them with a pellet stove. Thus, in times of intense cold, you will have no problem to stay warm in your home. There are several possibilities of combination considering your type of accommodation and your budget. Get closer to a professional and with him, you will determine the best combination.
What is the best home heating system with renewable energy?
There is no ideal heating solution, each with advantages, but also disadvantages. It is therefore important, whatever the energy for which you opt, to drastically reduce the heating needs of your home. For this, you must insist on the quality of its thermal insulation and ensure its exposure.
So remember before replacing your heating system to improve the insulation of the building. Thus, you will reduce the power required and therefore limit your investment. The questions you will have to answer before you replace or install a heating system are:
- Do you want to replace or install the main heater or is it more like an auxiliary heater?
- what are your real heating needs and depending on the surface of the dwelling, the number of people occupying it or its orientation?
- what are the energies already available in the house?
- What budget do you have for heating your home?
For you who are going to build a house, you must comply with the regulations in force for new homes. It is the RT 2012 thermal regulation that makes the use of renewable energies mandatory. Individual houses are thus required to ensure clean water production of domestic hot water. You must use at least renewable energy and you have the choice between:
- a solar thermal installation, that is to say, have at least two square meters of solar panels;
- a connection to a heat network that is powered by at least 50% renewable energies: it can be wind energy, geothermal energy, biomass or even hydropower;
- a thermodynamic device;
- a micro-cogeneration device; and,
- a decentralized production that guarantees you to produce 5 kWh per square meter per year.
With rising fuel prices and greenhouse gas emissions, fossil fuels are no longer in a state of sanctity. And the last decades have been the opportunity to design and adapt equipment to heat with renewable energy. Solar panels, heat pumps, and geothermal installations are all tools that help households reduce their carbon footprint. In addition, renewable resources are cheaper than gas or electricity and provide energy independence.