Geothermal in Schools
As homeowners, we often neglect the fact that geothermal heating and cooling can be utilized in various types of buildings (with various functions). Geothermal is a viable alternative energy source for any type of building, really (depending upon the size and other factors). Whether it’s a town hall, a corporate office, a shopping mall, or even a school, the benefits of geothermal save face. Today, we’ll focus on geothermal in schools, and provide some additional advantages that pertain directly to a geo installation in an educational facility.
Apart from providing clean air conditioning, heat, and hot water year round, a geothermal heat pump system is an opportunity for schools to take the green initiative, eliminating the oversized boiler rooms and incessant buzzing from their hallways. Unlike traditional “dirty” energy sources, the geothermal heat pump can be easily concealed, while the supporting loop field is completely subterranean. As you can imagine, this concealment prevents the damage that can often occur to traditional heating and cooling equipment. Not to mention, it looks better. While aesthetics aren’t necessarily the main concern of schools across the nation, it certainly can’t hurt to provide children with a safer, cleaner, and better looking environment.
Aesthetics aside, geothermal in schools just makes sense. Economically, the heat pump system will pay itself off in a relatively short period of time. Should any problems occur, most ground loop field installations come with a lengthy warranty. From a multitude of examples, we’ve observed that schools employing a geothermal heat pump system have decreased carbon dioxide emissions, while also cutting energy spending substantially.* Also, taking the environmental high road sets a great example for students and their families. Quite frankly, the high road isn’t necessarily the hard road when there’s essentially a guarantee of cutting costs.
The rub, as always, seems to be the fronting of the initial costs of geothermal. In an economy that’s tough on teachers, and perhaps tougher on parents, it’s understandable that not everyone in a given school district is going to be on board with a geothermal installation. That said, it’s important that the school board takes the time to empathize with concerns and reference materials that detail the benefits of geothermal in schools. It’s certainly not for everyone, but it’s also not a technology that should be neglected; its cost benefits alone warrant consideration.
If you’d like to check out a real life example of a geothermal installation in a school, feel free to check out one, two, or all three of the following!