Must have geothermal energy facts, geothermal home heating, and the coolest geothermal residential source for information.

Geothermal energy is an attractive alternative to using traditional fossil fuels for the generation of geothermal electricity. Less use of coal, oil and gas means lowering the emissions of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere, and hence can help fight global warming. In fact, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency both endorse geothermal as one of the most efficient and environmentally-friendly way to heat and cool your home. Due to favorable geothermal energy facts, more households than ever are employing this source of energy for lowering their electric bill and helping the environment.

As you probably know, geothermal energy uses the natural heat flow inside the earth for heating and cooling purposes. Geothermal heat pumps take heat from underground, usually via a water/ethanol solution, and sends the energy to the surface for use. A compressor heats the air further. For cooling purposes, the opposite holds true and the heat is taken away. The process uses a loop system underground. The typical geothermal residential set-up is a horizontal, closed loop system. The loops can be inserted in trenches or holes in the ground. Vertical systems are usually used for larger, commercial buildings. Even ponds and lakes can be used as sources of the energy. The heat is then distributed to the home via existing or modified ductwork.

Even though the cost of installation of a geothermal system is higher (sometimes 2 to 3 times) than that of a traditional heating/cooling system, the geothermal energy facts make sense...the investment usually pays off in only a few years; the monthly savings can be pretty substantial with efficiencies of 50-70% higher than traditonal heating & cooling; energy consumption can drop by half; and some systems can save the homeowner up to 50% on the water heating bill by preheating the tank water!

As an added bonus, maintenance is easy...some systems can last generations with little upkeep. Also, some manufacturing companies, utilities, and lending institutions offer rebates and incentives for going with geothermal heating cooling systems.

The environmental bonuses, in additional to lowering greenhouse gas emissions, are the lowering of ozone layer destruction - by using factory-sealed refrigeration systems.

Some other geothermal energy facts: quiet; uniform temperatures in the house (no "hot" and "cold" spots; infrastructure underground for the most part - less likely to be damaged by storms, etc. Kids & pets less likely to be injured; no flammable fuel or potentially dangerous storage tanks.

Some geothermal energy facts when considering a heatpump for your home:

1) Heat pumps are easy to install, but you need a professional. Once you find a supplier, look for accredited installers through the "International Ground Source Heat Pump Association" (IGSHPA). Also, suppliers typically have an installer they work with or have references.

2) The installer will determine the system that best meets your specific needs, which will determine cost. Things they look at: age of home, insulation, size of living area, location of home, and geology of the area.

3) An installer will determine if existing ductwork is sufficient to deliver the heating/cooling air. They will recommend if modifications will be needed. Typically existing ductwork is sufficient. For new construction, the mechanical air exchange and ductwork are factors in determining the portion of the selling price of the house for geothermal heating and cooling.

4) The heatpump is about the size of a traditional heating/cooling unit.

5) exposed equipment outside (mostly 4-6' underground); no flammable solutions, no unsafe storage tanks.

6) economically makes sense - rebates and/or special financing sometimes available

7) investment usually recouped in a few years (for example if your price difference is $2,000 for a system and you save $700 in heating/cooling bills per year, you'd have paid it off in under 3 years)

8) Only costs are electricity to operate the pump, compressor and fan, otherwise "free" energy!

9) Example of savings: If converting from oil to geothermal, bill would lower 70%; for propane to geothermal, bill would typically lower 80%!

10) The three parts to a typical system: heat pump unit; liquid heat exchange medium (i.e., loop underground); and air-delivery system (i.e., ductwork)

11) Final point...geothermal heat pumps don't use large amounts of electricity (your electric utility can determine your needs)

If you'd like to learn more on alternative energy and climate change, please see my site, SurviveClimateChange.

Author's Bio: 

I'm a meteorologist with a Masters in Meteorology. Besides weather, I also have a passion for climate change and environmental issues. I hope to share my enthusiasm in my writing on these subjects and offer suggestions on how to live in a more "earth friendly" way.

If interested in learning more, please check out my website, SurviveClimateChange. I can be reached at :)