Which are better for the environment, geothermal heating systems or geothermal cooling systems?

Geothermal Heating and Cooling System Advantages

Geothermal heating and cooling systems are very green, which means they are much better for the environment than conventional systems. For example, geothermal systems generate less greenhouse gases than traditional heating and cooling systems. The systems eliminate more than 3 million tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year. That's like taking 650,000 automobiles off the road [source: Oklahoma State University].

For every kilowatt of electricity a geothermal system consumes, it delivers three to six kilowatts of energy to heat or cool a building [source: Open Energy]. Geothermal heating systems are 70 percent more efficient than conventional oil or gas heating systems [source: U.S. Department of Energy].

When it comes to the environment, both geothermal heating and cooling systems are far superior in minimizing greenhouse gas emissions. Geothermal energy homeowners can save 70 percent on a home heating bill and 50 percent on cooling bill [source: Fanjoy].

Geothermal heat pumps use 25 percent to 50 percent less electricity than traditional heating or cooling systems. For every one unit of electricity a heat pump uses, it can move three units of heat from below ground. Geothermal heat pumps can also reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions up to 72 percent compared to standard air-conditioning equipment [source: U.S. Department of Energy].

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, installing a geothermal system is several times more expensive than installing a typical heating and cooling system. However, within 5 to 10 years, you would get your money back [source: U.S. Department of Energy].

Now that's the green we're talking about.

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More Great Links


  • Alliant Energy. "How it Works: Open Loop Systems." (April, 2011). http://www.alliantenergygeothermal.com/HowItWorks/OpenLoopSystems/index.htm
  • APH Geothermal. (April, 2011).http://www.aphgeothermal.com/faq.shtml#c2
  • City of Boise.org. "Geothermal Heating District." (April, 2011). http://www.cityofboise.org/Departments/Public_Works/Services/Geothermal/index.aspx
  • Cochrun, Angie. "Main street home first to run on geothermal energy." The Gazette. April 9, 2009. (April, 2011). http://www.gazette.net/stories/04092009/mounnew150846_32476.shtml
  • Fanjoy, Rob. "Heating and Cooling Go Green." NGTVpro.com. (April, 2011). http://www.hgtvpro.com/hpro/nws_ind_nws_trends/article/0,2624,HPRO_26519_5275268,00.html
  • LaMonica, Martin. "Tapping the Earth for home heating and cooling." CNET.com. Jan. 14, 2009. (April, 2011).http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-10131539-54.html
  • Minnesota Geothermal Solutions. How Does Geothermal Work? (April, 2001) http://www.geothermalminnesota.com/howitworks.php
  • Oklahoma State University. "Down to Earth Energy." (April, 2011). http://www.igshpa.okstate.edu/geothermal/faq.htm
  • Open Energy Info. Save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions with geothermal heat exchange." Nov. 19, 2010. (April, 2011). http://en.openei.org/wiki/News:Save_money_and_reduce_greenhouse_gas_emissions_with_geothermal_heat_exchange
  • U.S. Department of Energy. "Benefits of Geothermal Heat Pump Systems." (April, 2011). http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/space_heating_cooling/index.cfm/mytopic=12660
  • U.S. Department of Energy. "Geothermal Heat Pumps." (April, 2011). http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/space_heating_cooling/index.cfm/mytopic=12640

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