It seems that lately, every part of the global supply chain is disrupted in some way, and natural gas hasn’t escaped this trend. Since the beginning of 2021, natural gas prices have more than doubled.
This price increase started as yet another market affected by Covid, but the recent conflict in Ukraine has caused major disruptions in the energy market. Thus, natural gas is speculated to remain volatile for some time.
This increase in natural gas prices will hit a variety of industries, from transportation to energy production. But the place an average American will notice this price increase the most is in their heating bill this winter. With almost half the homes in America heated with natural gas, chances are you or someone close to you has a natural gas line to their home.
Newer developments, though, are moving away from this trend, focusing on sustainability in the modern housing market. Most developments avoid dependence on fossil fuels wherever possible, and eliminating direct reliance on them for heat takes priority.
Electric systems take up a sizeable chunk of the market as well and eliminate that direct dependence, but still use a lot of energy from the grid that may still create emissions. This is where Geothermal comes in.
A Geothermal Heat Pump (GHP) utilizes energy from underneath the earth to keep a home comfortable year-round. Just 10 feet below the surface, temperatures remain stable year-round all over the country. GHPs circulate water through a loop further down where the temperature is even more stable and reliable and through heat exchangers in a home to regulate the temperature.
So when winter comes, the GHP will take the heat of the earth and exchange it with the air in your home, and it does this without burning any gas and using only a fifth of the power a traditional HVAC system would use. When paired with another renewable source of power, a GHP can keep a home comfortable year-round while generating zero emissions!
As the price of natural gas continues to increase and energy, in general, becomes more and more expensive, GHPs will be a valuable tool in increasing the sustainability and efficiency of the individual home. But GHPs are valuable in summer as well. The operating cost of a GHP remains very stable year-round. On larger buildings, they can save even more.
Many large buildings utilize wasteful evaporative cooling towers in the summer. Installation of a GHP can save a larger institution millions of gallons of water a year and countless dollars on heating and cooling. A single loop can also service multiple buildings on a campus or several homes in a community.
GHPs open the door to higher sustainability and comfort to homes in all 50 states. They can lower the heating bills for whole communities or transform how a university keeps classrooms comfortable. The technology has been tried and true for over 40 years, and making its spot in the future of sustainability.