10 False Claims About Geothermal Energy


how geothermal warms and coolsThere is a lot to like about geothermal heating and cooling systems. Since ground temperatures remain relatively constant throughout the year (regardless of the surface air temperature), geothermal systems can go into the ground to retrieve energy before bringing it back up into a building. There might not be a system of heating and cooling that can be considered ‘perfect’, but geothermal may be as close as we have gotten to date.

Despite all of the positives of this method, there are still plenty of myths floating around. Ten of those myths are listed below.

Geothermal Systems Are Loud
Actually, the opposite tends to be true. These systems typically run rather quietly, and all of the equipment is housed indoors so you won’t be bothering your neighbors.

Ample Property is Needed to Install the System
While geothermal pipes can be run horizontally on a large piece of property, they can also be buried vertically, which means they won’t take up very much room at all.

Geothermal Systems Only Heat One Thing at a Time
This is true in some cases, but certainly not all. When needed, a geothermal HVAC system can be designed to heat multiple parts of a property at the same time.

geothermal linesIt Is Dangerous to Put Refrigerant Lines in the Ground
Most geothermal systems to not run refrigerant lines into the ground. Instead, they simply send water through the loops in order to draw the energy out of the below a building. Since only water is running through the pipes in most cases, there is no risk of harm to the environment should a leak happen to occur.

Geothermal HVAC Uses Too Much Water
These systems, while using water to function, actually don’t consume any water at all. Modern geothermal units return the water that they use to the aquifer, so there is no net loss of water to the area around a building that is using geothermal HVAC.

It is Not a Renewable Technology
Geothermal is an incredibly efficient method of heating and cooling, with an average unit being able to provide five units of heating or cooling energy by using just one unit of electricity.

Wind and Photovoltaic Systems Are More Energy Efficient
Based on the dollars spent on each kind of system, geothermal solutions offer a stronger ‘bang for the buck’. In fact, geothermal HVAC can actually take as much as four times more consumption off of the electrical grid than wind or photovoltaic power (based on dollars spent). Of course, wind and photovoltaic systems are useful options as well, but geothermal certainly does not take a back seat in this area.

Geothermal Systems Don’t Last
Modern systems are able to perform properly for decades when installed and cared for correctly. There were some issues with early-generation systems in terms of fatigue over time, but the improvements that have been made in this field have solved those problems.

Geothermal is Too Expensive
This is another point that has changed as this technology has developed. New technologies get less expensive over time, and that has been the case with geothermal HVAC. Installing a system is not nearly as costly as it once was, and buyers may be able to take advantage of federal or local incentives to make the system even more affordable.

Geothermal Systems Only Heat
One of the great advantages of a geothermal system is that it can both heat and cool a building. Whether the building needs to be warmed up in the winter or cooled down in the summer, a good geothermal unit will be up to the task.