Alternative Methods for Heating and Cooling Your Home

fall colored leavesEarly fall in Seattle is a lovely time to think about home heating and cooling. The fluctuating weather is a reminder of the full seasonal spectrum the Puget Sound area offers us every year. With this band and forth weather forecast in mind, we at Northwest Mechanical want to take some time to talk about the alternative methods you can use to both heat and cool your home.  These heating and cooling methods use the natural resources around your home to provide their energy. So, in addition to being innovative, they are also environmentally friendly.

Geothermal Energy:

An interesting and little known fact about the earth’s topsoil is that is remains at a near-constant temperature year round. This temperature (of between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit) is perfect for keeping a house cool or warm depending on the season. To make use of the soil’s temperature one needs a geothermal pump system. This system consists of three parts: a heat exchanger, a heat pump, and a delivery system. The heat delivery system can be either in the form of ductwork blowing hot or cold air, or radiant floor tubing.  

The first successful heat pump system installation was completed in Portland Oregon in 1948, and installations for home and commercial use have been steadily increasing since the 1970s when technology finally made them a viable option for regular homebuilders. Geothermal energy allows your home to be heated or cooled efficiently year-round. Because the ground is cooler than the air in the summer and warmer than the air in the winter, you can always make use of the imbalance to bring your house to a comfortable temperature.

Solar Energy:

Solar power can be used in a variety of ways to heat and cool your home or offset energy costs. While Seattle may not be known for its sunny weather, we know from experience that the amount of sun Seattle gets is actually entirely sufficient for effective solar power setups. The only question then is: what kind of solar set up do you want to use to heat and cool your home?

For heating and cooling with solar power, there are two popular options. One is to employ solar panels to generate power and then use that power to run either an air conditioner or an electric heater. The other option is to use a solar hot water heating setup to circulate hot water through a radiant floor heating system. Both of these methods have their advantages and disadvantages. The solar panel setup may not produce enough power to operate a heater or air conditioner entirely on its own, depending on how many panels you have. And the radiant floor heat powered by solar hot water only heats. There’s no cooling option for the summer.  Still, both options are environmentally friendly and excellent options if you’re considering rethinking the heating and cooling of your Seattle home.

In addition to these interesting and innovative solutions to home temperature regulation- Northwest Mechanical also installs and maintains traditional heating and cooling systems. From furnaces to ductless splits, we do it all. If you have questions about the best heating or cooling options for your home or business- give us a call. 

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