Geothermal heat pumps – 2013’s green product of the year

| by Jake Rabe
Geothermal heat pumps – 2013’s green product of the year

Today, there are many so called "green" products on the market but I venture to say that no "green" product can make as large of an environmental impact as a geothermal heat pump. The United States gets 84% of its total energy from oil, coal and natural gas - all of which are fossil fuels.

We've depended on fossil fuels to provide electricity, power industries, heat our homes and operate our vehicles. As a result, the planet's supply of fossil fuels has diminished and the effect of their continued use on our planet grows more ominous. As our culture and society have become more educated about the effect of fossil fuels on our environment, we have seen a continuous increase in Geothermal Heat Pump sales. According to a report by Pike Research, unit shipments in the United States are projected to see growth from just fewer than 150,000 in 2011 to more than 326,000 units by 2017. I think it's safe to say the days of cheap and plentiful energy has become a luxury of the past.

Geothermal heat pumps give homeowners and companies the ability to reduce their carbon footprint while taking advantage of the most energy efficient heating and cooling system on the market. What makes a Geothermal Heat Pump so efficient is their use of the earth's geothermal energy. The earth actually acts like a solar collector and stores heat deep in the ground. This stored heat, which remains a constant 55 degrees, can then be harnessed and used to heat and cool homes and buildings of all shapes and sizes. A homeowner using a Geothermal Heat Pump can expect efficiencies that are 400 - 500% higher than those of the most efficient traditional heating and cooling system. As a result, these homeowners will experience long-term savings with the added benefit of hot water.

Geothermal heat pumps are one of the cleanest, safest ways to heat and cool a structure. They operate on 100 percent electricity. This means that no carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases will be emitted. Greenhouse gas emissions associated with the use of geothermal heat pumps are 55 to 60 percent lower than those from a standard air-source heat pump.

Geothermal heat pumps account for more than half of the direct use of geothermal worldwide, followed by bathing and swimming. While the cost and lack of consumer awareness remains a primary obstacle to increased implementation; tax incentives and policies that favor improved building efficiencies have helped overcome those barriers. If it were up to me, geothermal heat pumps would be the undeniable 2013 Green Product of the Year.

This expert insight is by Jake Rabe, co-owner of Rabe Hardware and an experienced geothermal installer. Rabe Hardware is an Enertech dealer.

Topics: Geothermal Heating & Cooling, Heating & Cooling

Companies: Enertech Global, LLC, Rabe Hardware, Inc.

Jake Rabe
Jake Rabe grew up around the family business, Rabe Hardware Inc., where he began learning about home mechanical services at an early age. He joined the Marine Corp and served as an F-18 fighter jet mechanic during the Gulf War. In 1994, Jake and his wife became owners of Rabe Hardware and have since developed the business into Iowa’s leader in the geothermal industry. Jake has more than 17 years experience and has done more than 1,500 geothermal installations. www

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