With the cost of energy rising, many home and business owners are looking at going green not only to help the environment, but to help themselves. Although the technology isn’t new, geothermal heat pumps are becoming far more attractive to thrifty Americans who want to “borrow” a little help from nature. C. J. Hughes of the New York Times says:
Burrowing is exactly what geothermal heat pumps do to reduce temperatures. They work because the ground hundreds of feet down remains a fairly constant 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Absorbing heat into water, they whisk it downward, disperse it and then resend it, newly chilled, back to the surface.
The technology has existed since World War II; newly eco-conscious developers are taking advantage of its greenness. In cooling a room, it uses about half the electricity of the typical air-conditioner and produces fewer carbon emissions.
The pumps can be four times more expensive to install than traditional heating and cooling systems, partly because thick bedrock and narrow lots complicate drilling the deep wells they need. But they can pay for themselves in a decade, according to developers, engineers and industry leaders.
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