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Affordable and Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Traditional Heating Systems

affordable and eco-friendly alternatives to traditional heating systems

Our actions impact the environment, but finding an equilibrium between affordability, convenience, and sustainability regarding heating systems is an uphill struggle. 

Traditional heating systems keep our homes warm and ensure comfort during the winter—but they’re also significant sources of carbon emissions

So, if you want to lower your carbon footprint, from combi boilers to heat pumps and solar water heating, households can use eco-friendly alternatives to traditional heating systems, saving money – and the planet. 

In this guide, we’ll explore the best eco-friendly heating solutions and what they can do for your home. So, if you’re ready to save money and help the planet, read on. 

Combi boilers

combi boilers

Traditional oil-fired and gas boilers were vital inventions for homes, providing hot water and a heating supply. However, old-fashioned boilers are also significant contributors to carbon emissions, leading many people to seek modern alternatives. 

Biomass boilers 

Biomass boilers function similarly to gas boilers but use sustainable materials such as wood pellets to produce energy. These boilers offer many benefits but aren’t as sustainable as electric alternatives. 

If you want a boiler that functions similarly to gas models, biomass alternatives don’t produce as much carbon. 

Electric combi boilers 

Many homes turn to electric combi boilers for their sustainability and compact design. The main benefit of electric combi boilers is they don’t produce any emissions, making them a highly sustainable solution. 

However, they can be costly to run as electricity typically costs more than gas, which makes them inaccessible for some households. 


Micro-CHP systems are relatively new inventions, but they show great promise. Micro-combined heat and power solutions use the same energy source to provide electricity and heat. 

Investing in a micro-CHP system will cost more than traditional boilers, which still rely on fossil fuels to operate. However, they’re lower in emissions and require minimal maintenance. 

Heat pumps

heat pumps

Heat pumps provide households with reliable heat and cooling systems without compromising sustainability. Instead of relying on fossil fuels, they use renewable energy to function, reducing carbon emissions. 

Depending on where you live and your property type, you can choose between three types of heat pumps—each offering unique benefits. 

Air-source heat pumps 

Air-source heat pumps are the most popular solution for homes in the UK because they’re compatible with most properties and require minimal adaptations for installation. They take energy from the air and convert it into heat or cool air for your property. 

One drawback of air-source heat pumps is their limited functioning in extremely cold climates. If you live in an area with a lot of snow and harsh winters, you might find the pump doesn’t generate enough heat without additional support. 

Water-source heat pumps 

Water-source heat pumps offer more consistent performance, but—as you’ve probably guessed from the name—they can only function if they’re near a water source. If you don’t have access to a lake, river, or other source of water, you can’t install one. 

While water-source pumps can handle cold temperatures, you’ll need a backup supply if the river, lake or pond freezes. 

Ground-source heat pumps 

If you’re looking for year-round consistency, a ground-source heat pump takes advantage of the earth’s temperature, which stays stable during summer and winter. 

These pumps are excellent performers and can provide regular heating or cooling functions without any need for a backup heating supply. However, ground-source heat pumps can cost more as they must be installed at a minimum of one metre under the ground. 

However, if you have a large garden, installing one can save a lot of money in the long term. 

Solar water heating systems

solar water heating systems

Solar panels continue to become more advanced, which is great news because these genius inventions save a LOT of money. Aside from the traditional panels that generate electricity, solar thermal panels use the sun’s energy to heat water. 

With low installation costs, solar water heating systems are ideal for saving money and reducing reliance on less sustainable heating solutions. However, your location defines the heating system’s effectiveness, as it relies on sunlight. 

The South West and Southern England generate the most solar power, while panels are least effective in Northern Ireland and the Scottish Highlands. If you live in these areas, you might want to find a solution that doesn’t rely on sunlight. 

Funding low-carbon heating solutions 

The UK is taking sustainability seriously, which is good news for homeowners. You can move away from fossil fuels and receive a significant contribution from the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, which gives each household up to £7,500 for installing a low-carbon system. 

The scheme includes air-source pumps and ground-source pumps. You’ll receive up to £5,000 if you choose a biomass boiler. 

If you’re interested in installing solar panels, you might be eligible for the Green Deal, a government scheme. Alternatively, choosing a renewable energy installation and maintenance service gives you access to great deals and long-term support. 

Hometree offers a variety of affordable Heating and Solar Plans that make it easy to save money without any upfront costs. 

Choosing the right eco-friendly heating system for your needs 

With so many options available, finding an affordable alternative to gas boilers and reducing your carbon footprint is easy. Here’s what you should consider before making a decision on which system is right for your home: 

  • Geographic Location: Solar panels are cost-effective to install, but areas that don’t get much sunlight might need a backup system. However, installing a ground or water-source pump can save money over time. 
  • Accessibility: Air-source pumps are ideal for most homes, but a ground-source pump requires a larger garden. If you don’t have a water source nearby, a combi boiler is a great alternative. 
  • Affordability: A heat pump can cost between £7,000 and £30,000. Combi boilers cost around £3,000 on average, with biomass models costing between £4,000 and £16,000. Solar water heating systems cost between £3,000 and £5,000. 

Regardless of which option you choose, all offer convenience and accessibility. Embracing low-carbon heating systems is a huge step forward in reducing your reliance on fossil fuels and saving hundreds on your energy bills each year. 

If you want to explore your options, please enquire about Hometree’s financing solutions today. We’re making sure everyone can access eco-friendly heating systems and would love to help you.

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