Is Geothermal Worth the Price? Essay

957 Words 4 Pages
The rising cost of energy gives homeowners an opportunity to explore alternative heating and cooling systems. Geothermal heat pumps are one available option. Even though geothermal heat pumps are expensive, their efficiency and reliability will provide a value capable of recovering the high installation cost. The tremendous benefits this system provides will overcome the additional cost. Geothermal heat pumps are different from other heat pumps in that they use ground heat instead of extracting heat out of the air. This provides greater efficiency especially as the air temperature becomes very cold. “While many parts of the country experience seasonal temperature extremes – from scorching heat in the summer to sub-zero cold in the …show more content…
The open loop requires two wells drilled down into the ground. Water is drawn from one, with the energy removed and returned through the other. The closed horizontal and vertical loops require pipe buried underground to circulate the same water through the heat exchanger, and then back after the energy is withdrawn. The lake or pond loop works the same way as the closed loop, except the circulation loop uses the body of water as heat sink. The space required to install the loop can end up eliminating many urban and some suburban sites. The space necessary and the difference in price are the two drawbacks of these systems. The biggest advantage of geothermal heat pumps is their efficiency. For every dollar of energy used, three dollars of free energy is withdrawn from the ground. This makes the entire system extremely efficient. You are not actually using the purchased energy from a utility company to heat or cool directly. It is used to circulate and handle the renewable energy collected from the ground. This is accomplished through a circulation pump, a compressor, and a heat exchanger coil. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, there are “50,000 geothermal heat pumps installed in the United States each year” (“Geothermal Heat,” 2011), this indicates that many people are seeing geothermal heat pumps as a viable solution. One such user, Matthew Grocoff, found that, “The payback was

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