The period when your furnace is starting to look beaten down and in need of repairs is often the perfect time to think about upgrading it. Heat often takes a large amount of energy to create, which makes it an excellent place to save on energy costs both for your wallet and for the environment.
Optical Cavity Furnace
This was developed within the last few years by the U.S. Department of Energy. It's designed specifically to work with solar cells to increase efficiency. The tech works by using special optic devices to increase the heat and purity of solar cells. In particular, this tech makes use of ceramics that are highly reflective and insulating.
This works in combination with special geometric designs that were discovered to maximize heat retention through reflecting light. This tech also uses a number of lamps set up in an array inside of the ceramic insulation in order to work. The only way that energy dissipates out of the array is through the target itself, in this case, the cell at the heart of the furnace.
The process serves to reduce heat waste. The tech is also effective in that it's easy to make simply. Some estimates have it so that as much as 1200 efficient cells useable with the furnace can be made every hour. The technology is still in development, but it should be available for consumer use soon.
If you have some property next to your house and you're looking to upgrade to a more eco-friendly furnace, one option is a geothermal. The government's Energy Star program has information on eco-friendly geothermal furnaces in terms of specific products, but in general many of them are considered to be more efficient than more traditional approaches.
These furnaces use the earth as a means of transferring energy back and forth to your house based on what you need at the time. The exact advantage of the furnace will depend on whether you have soil that has efficient heat transfer properties or not. In general, the more soil you have access to and the deeper you can dig into it, the better the furnace will be at keeping your house at the temperature that you want.
Overall, you should keep an eye both on your furnace and on these emerging technologies so you can buy them in lieu of repairing an ailing furnace if you need an eco-friendly upgrade. Many of them are also likely to come out in the near future with more efficient versions if they are available already.
Contact local professionals, such as United Heating Cooling and Plumbing Inc, for more information.