Why Geothermal is Environmentally Friendly

For people familiar with geothermal heat pumps, this topic may seem like a no-brainer. Geothermal heat pumps are always classified as high efficiency systems and often as a renewable energy.  While the concept of geothermal heat pumps being environmentally friendly and efficient is widely accepted, many of the specific facts regarding this are not commonly discussed. In this article I will discuss how geothermal heat pumps are environmentally friendly by reducing noise pollution around a building, eliminating the burning of fossil fuels, and performing as the most efficient way heating and cooling system.

Elimination of noisy outdoor unit

When homeowners talk about the benefits of their geothermal heating and cooling systems, one benefit that often surfaces is the elimination of a noisy outdoor unit.  Almost everyone has been outside and heard a noisy compressor turn on in a conventional heating and cooling unit.  You are sitting at the table outside with your family and suddenly have to talk louder until your air conditioning unit turns off.  Geothermal heating and cooling units often eliminate the need for any outdoor unit, and if an outdoor unit is needed it is very quiet and you will not hear it running.  By eliminating this outdoor noise, you will be able to relax in your yard without being bothered by a noisy unit.

No burning of fossil fuels

In addition to reducing this outdoor noise, geothermal heating and cooling systems also eliminate the need to burn fossil fuels.  Burning fossil fuels is not a clean process and CO2 along with other gases are released during this process.  Methane gas released from the burning of fossil fuels contributes toward acid rain, which it turns harms plants and animals.  Perhaps the most threatening effect of burning fossil fuels in your home can be the introduction of Carbon Monoxide due to equipment malfunctions.  Know as “the silent killer,” this gas can be deadly if undetected.  With a geothermal heating and cooling system, you can relax knowing that you are not contributing to harmful gases in the environment or your home.

Exteme efficiency

An official EPA study on energy efficiency listed geothermal heating and cooling system as the most environmentally friendly heating and cooling system.  A main reason why geothermal heat pumps have earned this distinction is due to their extreme efficiency.  By using the constant temperature underground to heat and cool a home instead of the fluctuating outdoor air temperature, geothermal heat pumps are able to boast huge efficiency improvements over conventional heating and cooling systems.  In the Winter when it is cold outdoors, geothermal heat pumps can use the much warmer temperatures underground to achieve efficiency ratings upwards of 300%!  The same principle is also true in the Summer.  When the outdoor air temperature climbs higher than 90 degrees, a normal heating and air conditioning system will have to fight to move the heat from your home to the outdoor air in order to cool your building.  A geothermal system will be able to easily move the heat from your home to the much cooler temperatures underground.  To measure this efficiency, geothermal heat pumps are rated using COP (Coefficient of Performance) and EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio).  It is important to consider the COP and EER numbers of a geothermal heat pump before purchasing a unit.  When you are soliciting bids from geothermal contractors, ask them to explain COP and EER and give you a comparison to a conventional heating and cooling unit.  While many conventional heating and cooling equipment uses EER and COP for efficiency ratings, you may have to ask your contractor to help you compare when the equipment uses SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) instead of EER.  You can use these numbers to see for yourself the extreme efficiencies of geothermal heat pumps.

Geothermal equipment being installed

Geothermal heat pumps go hand in hand with environmental responsibility.  The benefits above are just a small sampling of some of the benefits of these systems.  For a list of more benefits, please feel free to refer to the Benefits section of this website under Geothermal 101.  After you purchase your geothermal heating and cooling system, you can rest assured that you have purchased an environmentally friendly appliance that will allow you to enjoy more peace and quiet in your yard, protect the earth and your family from the harmful gases generated by burning fossil fuels, and operate with the highest efficiency of any heating and cooling system.

Comments (2)


  1. Clean air ducts improve the overall indoor air quality and can help lower your heating and cooling costs. If your having your ducts professionally cleaned you should also make sure they retape the ducts to prevent any leakage.

  2. Heat Pumps says:

    Geothermal heat pumps use 44% less energy as compared to the air source heat pumps and 72% less as compared to the electric resistance heating pumps. Think of them as just another step to energy independence.