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More than one-third of all US energy consumption is from heating and cooling homes and buildings — a significant contribution to climate change. Air source heat pumps are a trending topic as a potential solution, but experts say a different kind of heat pump — geothermal ones — is an even more efficient option.
A geothermal heat pump installation is underway in Cortlandt, New York. Geothermal heat pumps use underground temperatures instead of outdoor air — unlike the units you see that look like fans in a box outside homes and businesses. To install ground source systems, contractors bring in heavy equipment and drill to run a loop of flexible piping several hundred feet deep in your yard.
Dandelion, born out of a Google innovation lab in 2017, designs, installs and maintains its own systems in New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. “Geothermal is evolving rapidly. We are seeing it go into much more urban spaces, so right now there are several New York City housing projects that are switching over to geothermal because it’s cost-effective, you know, like, if you’re looking at how much does it cost to operate those buildings over time, that upfront cost of putting the ground loops in is totally worth it,” explains Kathy Hannun, Dandelion President & Co-Founder.
A major push is now underway to get people to consider ground source heat pumps because they use far less electricity than other heating and cooling methods. Dandelion is currently working on a partnership with Lennar Corp, one of the largest home builders in the country and thinks in the future, new homes will be built with geothermal instead of natural gas.
“A typical home using fuel oil in this part of the world, so let’s say New York, but, you know, anywhere around here, might be spending $4,000-5,000 a year on fuel oil and air conditioning bills. That same home will probably be spending about $1,000 a year on electricity with a geothermal system,” says Hannun.
People who live in places with cold winters and hot summers reap the biggest savings. Residential geothermal heat pumps currently make up just 1% of the US heating and cooling market.
This article was provided by The Associated Press.