News : Frugal Consumers Opt to Harness Earth's Warmth to Heat (and Cool) Their Homes
Published in Portsmouth Patch and Seacoast Online
By Heikki Perry
BARRINGTON, N.H. — Although the technology is more expensive up front, geothermal energy’s down-the-road savings are practically unrivaled.
Depending on local geologic conditions, however, one method of harnessing geothermal energy can prove superior to the other, and that’s where Barrington-based Ultra Geothermal has made its mark.
Studies have showed geothermal energy to be four to five times as efficient as standard heating oil, making it one of the most long-term cost-efficient energy solutions anywhere. Adding to this outstanding efficiency, geothermal systems may save a homeowner 60 to 70 percent in heating costs, and 70 to 80 percent in cooling costs. When federal-sponsored tax incentives and interest-free loans are added to the mix, many price- and sustainability-conscious consumers opt for a geothermal system.
Geothermal heat pumps have been in use since the late 1940s, according to Energy.gov. They use the constant temperature of the earth as the exchange medium instead of the outside air temperature. This allows the system to reach fairly high efficiencies (300 to 600 percent) on the coldest winter nights, compared to 175 to 250 percent for air-source heat pumps on cool days.