Can a household really run on geothermal energy?

geothermal power plantThere are so many different kinds of energy out there these days. Wind power, solar energy, hydro energy, etc. – they are all effective in their own way. A lesser-known type of energy is geothermal energy, or heating using the heat from the earth’s core. But is this kind of energy really a feasible way to run a home?

Basically, geothermal energy is utilized by a household by way of ground source pumps. These pumps supply the home with hot water that is heated by the ground. Think of this process as similar to the way that a pump supplies cold air to cool a refrigerator.

Geothermal pump systems circulate either water or antifreeze through underground pumps. When the weather is cold, this fluid absorbs geothermal heat and carries it by way of the pipes into the home. When the mercury rises, the system then transforms into a cooling system, whereby heat is extracted from the home, carried through the pipes and brought back down into the ground.

This form of renewable energy has many benefits. First, it is non-polluting. Second, use of geothermal energy can reduce energy costs by as much as half. Next, geothermal energy provides both cooling and heating services and it is a low-maintenance system because it is protected by being installed underground. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, because there is no toxic carbon monoxide or gas fumes emitted from this form of energy, there is no risk of dangerous inhalations.

In terms of longevity, geothermal earth loops are extremely long-wearing. In fact, these systems can last for generations. The heat-exchange portion of the equipment lasts for decades, too, as it is kept protected by being indoors. Even when the heat exchange does need to be replaced, it’s not a pricey endeavour because the heat loop is the most expensive part.

There is a common myth that geothermal systems utilize a large and environmentally damaging amount of water. The truth is, geothermal systems don’t consume any water. An aquifer is used to exchanged heat with the earth, and all of the water used in the system is then returned to that same aquifer. What’s more, when used in a commercial setting, geothermal systems actually can eliminate millions of gallons of water that would be evaporated from cooling towers when used in traditional HVAC systems.

Regardless of what type of energy you use in your home, for heating, cooling and/or electricity, it’s always good to have a backup energy source. UPS systems, or Uninterrupted Power Sources, are a good idea. They can provide a stop-gap between your typical power sources and a temporary one until power can be restored. Contact a company such as for more details.

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