Geothermal energy--which literally means “energy from the heat of the earth”--has been a staple of society for centuries. Some archaeological studies suggest that Native American tribes utilized hot springs and pools for bathing, cooking, and heating going back thousands of years. From the bathhouses of ancient Rome to the medicinal thermal springs of 5th century China, geothermal has been a major source of energy throughout the world. Beneath the ground, roughly 10 meters down, temperature variations of the season cease to be a concern--so geothermal heat pumps can be used pretty much everywhere.
Even though technology has made other heating systems easier and more readily available, geothermal energy is quickly coming back into style. It is more environmentally friendly than a typical A/C unit, producing a much lower level of omissions. It is also more affordable: some sources suggest that switching to a geothermal system can cut energy requirements by upwards of 30 percent. Some countries are already switching over. El Salvador, Kenya, and Iceland are just a few countries that are currently utilizing geothermal for a large chunk of their power needs.
Geothermal heat pumps operate very similarly to a standard kitchen refrigerator--transfering heat from the ground to your home through long loops of underground pipes filled with liquid. In warmer months, the heat from your home gets transferred into the ground by reversing the process--thus cooling the space. It is more energy efficient and far more economical than conventional heating and cooling systems.
The only major downside to geothermal power is installation. While it is possible to retrofit older buildings to a newer system, some locations are just not hospitable to the deep web of coils required by modern geothermal networks. If the space required is not available, installation may be impossible. It is also fair to note that such an upgrade is not inexpensive--though the long term benefits to a family’s energy bill might well negate a higher starting cost.
Don’t be put off by the seemingly uber-complex geothermal systems that are used today. In practice, they are still very similar to the heating systems of the past, and they certainly still have the same uses. Geothermal energy has been a cornerstone of human life for millenia--though in this country it seems like we’re only just now remembering why.
Contact Harbin Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. at 888-689-3651 today to speak to one of our professional and efficient associates about your heating and cooling needs. HHA proudly serves in the areas of Corinth, MS; Counce, TN; and the state of Alabama.