Green geothermal, the climate is saved! We can have great interior air comfort without worrying about blasting contaminants into the ozone or spewing exhaust into the environment.
Is Green Geothermal Legit?
You gotta love marketing. Every HVAC company on the planet wants to tell you that a geothermal heat pump is the environmentally friendly solution to conventional heating and air technology. And who can blame them? After the ozone panic from decades ago and amid increasing concern about climate change, people are looking for high tech solutions to dirty tech problems.
But are geothermal heat pumps the panacea some make them out to be?
Full disclosure, we here at GeoCool are, obviously, in the geothermal heat pump business. We do believe green geothermal tech is one way to protect the atmosphere without going backward to a very smelly, very sweaty way of life.
However, we aren’t going to tell you geothermal heat pumps are a silver bullet to cure every environmental ill. These things aren’t magic. On the other hand, they can be a big part of the solution.
Clean Winter Heating
Unless you live on a tropical beach, and I’m guessing that’s not most people, you know all about winter. Humans used to survive the cold months by burning wood. Then the Industrial Revolution gave us heating fuel oil and natural gas. These technologies work, but they pollute.
In the 20th Century, electrical heating systems began to replace some of these dirtier technologies. Most of that impetus came from rising oil costs rather than environmental considerations. Still, those electric heaters ran on fossil fuel power plants, so the buck was just being passed from one polluter to another.
The Green Geothermal Difference
Geothermal heat pumps have a few critical advantages over fossil fuel and electric furnaces:
Geothermal heat pumps rely on buried heat to boost their electric power. This means they use less energy than conventional electric furnaces.
Geothermal heat pumps require ZERO fossil fuels. Yes, many power plants still use fossil fuels, but it is entirely possible to run a geothermal unit entirely on renewable sources. Since they’re higher efficiency, they do this a lot better, again, than an electric furnaces.
So, is ‘green geothermal’ the pill to cure all our environmental ills?
Of course not. There is not going to be a single solution to such a complicated problem. However, geothermal heat pumps with their green potential are a step toward decreasing fossil fuel dependence, reducing annual energy consumption, and maintaining the standard of living we all want to keep.