Thursday, March 15, 2012

Alternative Energy Choices

The cost of energy is causing many of us to seek out affordable alternative energy sources. What were once considered marginal energy sources are now being revisited by many in an effort to find clean and effective ways to reduce heating and cooling bills.

Among the most popular alternative energy choices are things such as wood stoves, pellet stoves, cold and biofuel furnaces as well as heat pumps. Which of these alternative heating sources makes the most sense for any individual greatly depends on the area of the country that you live in as well as the availability of the alternative fuel source.

For instance those people that live in a northern region of the country and have ample access to firewood than a fireplace insert or wood stove would make the most sense. Just as those individuals that may be in the middle of the country that have access to free or low-cost biofuel products such as corn while obviously the type of stove that burns biofuel would be the most logical and efficient choice.

Solar and geothermal are excellent choices for all terms of fuel but the drawback to both cities is the upfront cost. Even though in the long run these type of alternative energies resources will pay for themselves and then produce free energy for the life of your home.

Heat pumps are another excellent way to offset rising energy costs. The heat pumps that are created today are much more dance in the original versions that were only practical in very mild temperature regions. One of the best combinations for cutting your energy expenses is combining either the solar or the geothermal along with a heat pump that uses an electric heater as its backup heating source.

Normally electric heat can be a very expensive proposition but when combined with the free energy that will be provided through the solar or geothermal units using electric heat as the backup makes perfect sense because it eliminates the need to continue with either oil or natural gas as your backup heating source.

In addition to lowering your overall energy costs there are also tax advantages for heating and cooling with greener energy efficient systems. On average the energy credit that's available for residential customers equals approximately 30% of the total installation cost.

With these tax advantages as well as the money that you won't learn from generating power there really has never been a better time to consider making an investment in an alternative source of energy.