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Alright, the title of this blog is a little tongue in cheek. Still, think about it : Why do you think men once lived in caves? One reason is that a cave stays a mean average temperature all the time. That average varies somewhat based on location and depth, but it is generally a little cooler than most people find comfortable.
Of course, the secret is in the natural conditioning that comes from the earth itself. Publications were lauding the underground home a century ago for this very reason. Many people have succumbed to living underground, but advances in geothermal housing technology are making the same principles available to modern homes.
The Geothermal Approach
Geothermal energy allows for a more conventional home that harnesses the same natural element as the more controversial construction methods. The usual heat pump reclaims the cool air from hot air in summer to cool the home, and reverses the process to extract the heat from the cold outside air during the colder months.
An unfortunate condition of the heat pump is it cannot perform either process well when outside conditions are severe either way. A geothermal application requires a vast number of feet of piping underground where the temperature stays the same. Pumps circulate the temperate air into the home so that artificial heating and cooling is used much less. This creates a very large energy savings.
Piping can be designed to consist of either deep bores with mainly vertical piping or shallow fields of pipes. When there is plenty of space available, the field layout is more often selected, and the wells occur in a limited space application.
It does cost more money to have the geothermal heat pump installed, but some savings can be realized because of the usual longevity of this type of innovative heat pump. It doesn't have to work as hard as the more often used HVAC system. Prices have fallen somewhat since the inception of geothermal energy, and costs may continue to decrease as more people use the system. With savings on energy costs of up to 70%, a recoup of installation costs for a geothermal system can be rapid, depending on the size of your home.