Geothermal Heating, an Alternative to Burning
Many local residents have found geothermal heating to be a practical choice for their new home construction. That’s because geothermal heat can keep your home more comfortable than other home heating options, while also saving you money long term on energy bills. Our local area experienced Fairbanks North Star Borough’s first ever burn ban recently, making another great argument on behalf of geothermal heating. It’s certainly a big improvement on wood stoves, which are part of the ban in these low air quality weather conditions. Today, we’ll share some information to help you understand geothermal power and why we often include geothermal heating systems in our new home construction projects.
Geothermal power harnesses the consistent temperature found just below the surface of the Earth. Just below ground, it is warmer than outdoor air temperature in winter. The heat energy is accessed by installing small pipes or tubes in a series of loops into the ground, enabling heat transfer between the ground and your house. Since heat is moved, but not generated, no fuel is required.
A geothermal heating system consists of vertical or horizontal underground pipe loops, usually polypropylene and an indoor heat pump. To provide heating, water is circulated through the pipes, absorbing heat from the ground and transferring it to the heat pump. The pump removes heat from the water and distributes it (as warm air) to heat your home. The water is re-circulated, collecting heat from the ground again.
Geothermal Energy Advantages in New Fairbanks Construction
Compared to other home heating sources, geothermal offers benefits like:
- Low operating costs: Geothermal systems can provide 4 units of heat energy for each unit of electricity used, due to moving heat instead of making it. You could save up to 70% on your energy bill. Electricity needed to run the geothermal heat pump is about half the cost of heating oil.
- Quiet: The indoor part of a geothermal system, the heat pump, is quieter than a refrigerator.
- Clean air: Geothermal systems are environmentally friendly. No carbon dioxide/greenhouse gasses are emitted as when burning fossil fuels. Only a small amount of electricity is needed for the geothermal heat pump, which is a great savings over electrical heating systems and it doesn’t tax the electrical grid.
- Safety: No combustion occurs, so there is no possibility of carbon-monoxide poisoning.
- Delayed replacement: Geothermal systems typically last for 15+ years. The ground loop is generally guaranteed for 50 years. A gas furnace may last 10 years or less, with regular maintenance.
- Great Return on Investment: Especially in new home construction, energy bill savings soon exceed the cost of materials and geothermal installation.
Big Street Construction got its start a dozen years ago here in North Pole. We’re proud to say that our family owned company has helped hundreds of local homeowners enjoy a new custom home with economical, comfortable and environmentally sound geothermal heating. When you need expert advice on building your new home in Fairbanks or North Pole, including free detailed estimates of time and cost, count on the residential construction professionals at Big Street. Check out our blog as a general information resource or contact us at Big Street Construction to discuss your new home project today.