The other day we had a post about the pros of geothermal energy along with some of the concerns that come with tapping the earth’s underground heat. Today, Samantha DeLair, a homeowner in upstate New York, shares her thoughts about geothermal as she and her husband take a major step toward going off the grid. We are excited to published her comments below.
We are very excited that we are able to install the geothermal system at our new house in upstate New York. We are well into the project now and haven’t had any worries – it is a relatively simple system and setting aside cost, an easy option for us to choose, particularly in the Northeast, where solar is a little less reliable.
We are not necessarily “green” people. That is to say, we haven’t been raised that way and we aren’t naturally geared that way. While I want to do all I can for the environment and such, green energy is not something we were immersed in. But, once I knew about the option and researched it just a bit, it seemed a no-brainer. The tax credit from the government (30% of the cost of the system) will help too. Although I am not sure if this “social” tax credit will help us avoid paying the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT).
The geothermal system puts us off the grid for heating, both hot water and actual heat. We are doing radiant heat in our basement slab, since the concrete mass will hold the heat longer and is more efficient. The rest of the house is being heated through forced hot air, just like most homes, so to the casual observer, they would never know our home is being heated through an “alternative” source. I love being warm, so if it suits me, it should suit most. The actual heat pump is quieter than most furnaces, and there is a backup electric heat, for those 3-4 days that are below -10 degrees. The geothermal will still work on those days, but it may not extract enough heat to make us comfortable. Once we move in, we’ll know for sure if the system makes the home comfortable.All in all, it’s been easy so far (fingers crossed). In a few years we may want to tackle a wind turbine project – take us completely off the grid!- Samantha DeLair