Geothermal energy has been promoted as an environmentally friendly alternative energy source. However, as Connecticut’s leading HVAC contractor, we often hear from folks who aren’t sure what it is or how it works. Understanding the basics of geothermal energy will help you decide if it’s a worthwhile effort to pursue and how it may be used as greener energy source.
What is Geothermal Energy?
Geothermal energy is the use of steam or heat from underground sources to heat a building directly, or to generate electricity. When used for electricity, a well drilled deep into the earth’s core releases steam, which then powers turbines connected to electric generators to produce electricity. Because it does not use coal or another source that produces carbon emissions, it is considered a clean energy source. The reservoirs of steam or heat can be shallow or several miles below the surface of the ground.
How is Geothermal Energy Used?
Another way to take advantage of geothermal energy, is through the use of a geothermal heat pump. The pump can remove heat from the earth’s surface and direct it into a home. Conversely, it can remove heat from a living space and move it back to the ground, to achieve an overall cooling effect in warmer Spring and Summer months.
Geothermal energy is produced in several countries and is not a new energy source, as some people think. In some countries it has been used for thousands of years, for both cooking and heating purposes. The U.S. is one of the largest producers of geothermal energy. However, it is also used extensively in Iceland, to heat swimming pools and buildings. Iceland is home to many volcanoes and hot springs, which serve as an ongoing source of geothermal energy for practical use.
Advantages of Geothermal
There are several advantages of using geothermal energy for heating or cooling. It is always available, as long as the underground source does not dry up or cool off. This makes it more desirable than wind power, which relies on strong winds, or solar power, which relies on sunny days to produce energy and store it.
Geothermal energy does not rely on fossil fuels to use it in practical applications. It can be directed to the places where it can be most useful, when turbines and generators are in place. It produces much less carbon dioxide than other energy sources, including clean burning natural gas.
Geothermal energy costs less to produce and use than fossil fuels. This makes it a suitable replacement or alternative energy source. It also costs less than other alternative energy sources, like solar and wind power.
Through our work in the geothermal heating and cooling industry we have helped numerous families save a substantial amount of money on energy costs, while also helping to conserve the environment. If you are interested in learning more about geothermal energy in your Connecticut home, give us a call today to see how we can lower your energy bills! (860) 698-9696