The Geothermal Advantage

With the seasons are changing, and cold air is beginning to enter your comfort zone of warmth; you know it is time to prepare your home for the winter blues of drafts coming through windows and under doors.


You realize that it is time to add new weather stripping and change the filter on your 50 year old furnace to try and save some money on your heating bill. Yet no matter what you do as you go about doubling up your sweaters and long sleeve shirts, and no matter how many heavy blankets you pile on the bed at night to feel nice and cozy without having to spend out extra money to be warm; it is going to happen anyway. You are going to be bombarded with high heating bills for about 4-5 months, or for how long cold weather stays around where you live.


Your utility company has already warned you, letting you know what to expect and when it is going to happen. I guess it is their way of easing into winter and adding high fuel costs to your kilowatt usage before you even start to regulate your thermostat.  They might have made this big announcement to prepare you since way back in August.


Even if you sleep in front of your stove without turning your furnace on,  or if you sleep in front of your living room log fireplace if you have one - this will not keep you from seeing a higher gas bill this winter as it is already regulated, already estimated, already predicted and already in the making that consumers, rich or poor; homeowners and business owners alike are going to be reaching deeper into their pockets, or deeper into their banking accounts, to meet the elevated cost of heating.


This is happening because consumers are caught up in this maze of economic dependency on their local utility company’s power grid that brings gas and electricity to their homes and businesses, instead of relying on solar energy that is cheap and affordable. Heck, most often it is free; so why are you paying extra to heat or cool your homes when you don’t have to? This is something you should be pondering; especially since there is a way to draw energy for heat from a solar device.


Another source of solar energy besides solar panels, wind turbines and solar hot water systems is solar geothermal systems which will bring heat into your home.


As you can see, we have come a long way from the dark ages with solar energy, and just like you have a choice in what heating company you are going to use; for instance having heating oil delivered to your home, or using coal and wood, or staying tapped in to your city’s power source; you have a choice in the way that you can use this free energy driven from the sun, or driven from the earth. You have a choice in how you are going to bring electricity and gas into your home, after all, these are elements that are a necessity and we can’t get around that fact because we do not want to be left in the dark or in the cold.


What is geothermal anyway? Geothermal is heat that is collected from the earth, since there is thermal energy housed in rocks and water deep in the earth’s crust. You can use this resource from the earth in heating systems that do not require heat pumps or power plants. This kind of heating is called a direct heating system, because the energy comes straight from the earth’s water.


The other option is called a ground source heat pump system, and for this system a pump uses the water from the earth as a source of heat for the winter months. In addition, it can be used as a heat sink during the summer. And yes, geothermal is another renewable energy resource.


You can use geothermal heating systems in places such as newly built schools or swimming pools, and even for residences - it could be provided in space heating. All I can say is, where there is a will, there is a way.


This kind of solar heating system, I guess you can say, is a dual supplier of energy because it can also produce electricity that can be added to an electricity grid.


For residential homes, old and new, consumers are finding out about this natural heating and cooling system. It is becoming more and more popular because the savings that one encounters on their utility bills proves that this source of energy is cost effective. A 2,000 square foot home can be cooled off and heated for about $50.00 a month or less. How cool is that? It is better than paying 2 or 3 hundred dollars to be nice and cozy and you have electricity too!


With a geothermal system, this is what you can expect and depend upon.
1.    The system, when installed, can be indoors or underground.
2.    There are few parts that wear out, so there will be very low maintenance.
3.    There are no irritating noises from the condenser fans.
4.    This system is not affected by outside temperatures. Regardless of the seasons, it will work adequately, because it is not affected by temperatures - whether freezing or sweltering.


With this kind of system, you are going to be charged with two kinds of prices. Do not be alarmed with this bit of information, because what you are actually paying for is purchasing the equipment for one price and running the system for another price.


Again, just like all other solar energy products and systems, it pays for itself in due time and the savings will show up on your utility bills. However, there are other benefits too, but that will come later in another article.
 

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