Geothermal Heating and Cooling


Geothermal heating and

cooling utilizes mother earth’s internal temperatures, a nearly constant 50 degrees, for cool and warm air exchange.  Both efficient and eco-friendly, it can provide nearly any home with heating and cooling all year round.  A maze of refrigerant and water-filled pipes enable these  geothermal systems to trade heat with the earth, pulling warm air from the ground homewards in the winter, and giving heat back to the earth while pulling in cool air in the summer.




Geothermal heating and cooling systems are also very cheap to operate.  Maintenance costs are kept low because ground source heat pumps require less servicing than most conventional air exchange systems which minimizes the need for cooling and heating repair.  This is also possible because of fewer mechanical operating components.  Meanwhile, geothermal heat pump installation costs can be much higher than most comparable conventional systems, but they make up for that over time by dropping energy bills substantially.  Most energy bills generally drop 30 to 40 percent.



Durability is another outstanding feature of geothermal heat pumps.  Fusion-welded pipes, with life expectancies of 50 or more years, help reinforce the system’s performance by preventing leaks.  An important factor that connects geothermal heat pumps’ eco-friendliness with durability is the fact that geothermal heating and cooling systems transfer heat instead of creating it, which greatly diminishes the need for fossil fuels to help heat your home.  On the safety side, these systems rank high because of the absence of flammable fuel, fuel storage tanks, and dangerous open flames.



Comfort is yet another feature of geothermal heat pumps.  It’s amazing how these systems maintain humidity at the most comfortable levels possible constantly no matter how drastic things are outside.  Adding to the comfort is their quiet operation, mostly due to the absence of outside compressors.Geothermal heat pumps, like most solar heating panels, boast smaller hardware and smaller mechanical room requirements, freeing up space which can be used for other more important things.



Geothermal systems have a few drawbacks, however.  The high installation cost makes it an expensive initial investment.  And since the system pipes are situated underground, its repairs – though seldom necessary-can also be expensive and difficult.  In spite of these drawbacks, the money that you will save over time, plus the good feeling that you get from helping the environment make this system worth considering for your home.


Ruth Clark is a geothermal heating and cooling specialist with 10 years experience working in North Carolina.