Pros and cons of geothermal energy:
Geothermal energy (also know as ground source, geoexchange or renewable energy) is energy taken from earth, and used to heat or cool buildings depending on season. The basic principle is that in the certain depth in the ground the temperatures are the same throughout the year (about 55 degrees F in New England area) thus giving possibility to retrieve heat during winter time or cold during summer using specific devices called heat pumps. Even though geothermal exchange principle has been known for decades, in residential applications it is relatively new and very fast growing.
Geothermal (or ground source heat pump) system can be installed in any residential structure giving its owner the following benefits:
1. Economic – since the geothermal system uses “free” ground energy, annual saving for heating/cooling season versus regular heating/cooling equipment can reach 75%. Also, geothermal heat pump has prolonged life and requires less maintenance rather than conventional heating/cooling equipment. Usually new geothermal system pays for itself within first couple of years, not to mention that there is a whole variety of rebates and incentives from both federal and state governments and heat pump manufacturers.
2. Environmental – there is no gas or oil burning involved in heat production using geothermal equipment, so there is no CO2 dumping to the earth atmosphere thus minimizing ozone layer destruction. There is no air pollution because closed underground field with environment friendly antifreeze is used.
3. Comfort and safety – geothermal equipment is usually very compact and quiet compared to the same with regular burners. It does not have large noisy blower units, requires less space in your home, there is no open flame or potentially dangerous flammable fuel involved.
There is also a whole lot of other geothermal energy applications rather than just heating and cooling. It can produce hot water for your home, heat pool’s water serve as driveway’s de-icing system during the winter and so on. Geothermal exchange systems is one of the most rapidly growing markets in the united states, and it is becoming more and more efficient as the new equipment and installations techniques are coming to existence.