Monday, April 30, 2007

Digging Deep For Home Heating.

The San Francisco Chronicle has a long and in-depth piece today about geothermal heat pumps for residential heating.

The basic principle is to use naturally higher ground tmperatures some 200 feet below the earth's surface to heat your house.

The system is environmentally friendly and cost-effective in the long run. However, the up-front costs associated with installing a system are staggering (the homeowner profiled in the article spent $50,000) and the environmental implications of unqualified homeowners or shoddy contractors drilling 200 foot holes all over the place are fairly serious as well (potentially contaminated aquifers, buried gas and electric lines, etc.).

The Chronicle takes this issue seriously enough to run competing PRO and CON pieces about the technology.