When we think of heating and cooling systems, we think of a central AC unit, a heat pump, or Gas Furnaces. But there are few other options that you can use to replace your existing or current HVAC system. Even though there are no category or name for these non-traditional heating and air conditioning system, I usually call these “Alternative HVAC system”.
Now, before I talk about these HVAC systems, you should know why would you even consider using one instead of using the traditional heating and cooling systems.
Why would you want to move to other alternatives of the commonly used HVAC System?
The main reason for you to even consider the alternative HVAC system is how much time and effort does it costs for AC maintenance & repair.
You need to change the air filters often, clean up the coils every few months and take care of the air duct cleaning. You must think you have done enough.
Besides, it is not only about the time and effort you put in. The AC repair cost and air duct cleaning cost are something to consider when you are assessing the total HVAC cost. Besides, Geothermal heat pumps and solar heat pumps are pricey as they can get.
Lastly, when you have an inefficient HVAC system and you don’t want to spend any more on the AC services & repair, you might want to replace it with an even better one, obviously, one that can be considered as nontraditional air conditioning units.
Now that you know why you would want to replace your existing central air conditioner, it’s time you should know about your options.
1. Pellet Stoves & Furnaces
In recent years, many of us are opting to the heating systems with the wood-fired boilers, wood pallets, and wood stoves, which are made of the compacted saw-dust, bark, wood chips, waste paper, organic materials, and agricultural crop waste.
These standalone wood pallets and wood stones are usually placed to act as space heaters. The wood pallet stoves could be used with air ducts or vents. Besides, they have the pros of burning cleaner as they can save a significant amount compared to the heating units that run on gas, oil or propane.
There are also some wood pallet boilers and furnaces that use the larger hoppers. They automatically dispense those wood pallets.
Note that it is important to choose the right-size heating appliance for your home. If it is smaller than needed, the heating system won’t be able to heat up your room. On the other hand, if they are bigger than needed, you will end up burning fire at a very low smolder to ensure your home doesn’t overheat. Do you know what will be the end result of this? You will end up paying a lot more for fuel than usual.
2. Electric Baseboard
If you have electric baseboard heating and get a few inches from floor and wall, using the wood blocks. This will create convective air loops behind and below your heater. This will carry air into your heated area before it is lost to the air leaks of your exterior walls.
3. Thermal Massing
In this heating system, you let the heat from sunlight enter and hold it to keep the home warm. You can indirectly heat your home by letting Sunlight enter in Winter and allow the wall, tiles, concrete or floor to warm up. Concrete is perhaps the best option because it holds on to the heat for longer. This is because the rate of heat entering the concrete is higher than the rate of exertion. For the same reason, concrete-embedded on the floors work this well.
4. Thermal Chimney
Let’s assume you have a very tall or a cathedral ceiling and let’s say you can add a skylight. Then locate a ceiling fan which can reverse its blowing direction beneath it.
In summer or any warmers months, you will be able to cool the space. All you need to do is set up the ceiling fan in a way that draws the air. Then make sure the ceiling fan is exerting the air through the skylight. This is a great way to efficiently control the temperature without worrying about molds in duct or air conditioning repair.
Besides, you can make the heating and air conditioning system automatic like the modern heating and cooling systems from HVAC companies. All you need is temperature sensors. Add them and it will work automatically.
5. The old Roof Paint
This is not a mechanical or technical HVAC system that we are used to. This is more like a tip.
Last summer, I went to my sister’s place. I heard my nephew complaining about how hot his room was. So, I took it upon myself. I got up the roof and painted rook with dark blue. This made a difference to his room temperature.
The basic science behind is – dark colors usually absorb the sunlight rather than passing it to the other side.
Let’s recap what you have learned.
First of all, there are valid reasons to consider the possibilities to use these alternative HVAC systems. Mainly because these alternative HVAC systems don’t require much air conditioning service or HVAC installation. Besides, these are less expensive to operate.
As for the options that you can choose, you have pallet stoves and furnaces that use wood as fuel. Then there are electric baseboards that you can use in your home without need too much space.
As for more traditional options, there are thermal chimneys and thermal massing. And if you want a controlled environment without spending any significant amount, you can always paint the roof with dark or light colors.