The Iowa Energy Center is often asked about geothermal energy in homes and businesses. A geothermal heat pump is the most efficient heating and cooling system available, because it returns up to four dollars of heating (or cooling) energy for one dollar of electricity consumed. A geothermal heat pump doesn’t burn fuel to create heat; instead, it uses electricity to move heat from the ground through a large loop of buried, fluid-filled pipes to a compressor located inside the home.
Learn more from our Home Series book on home heating and cooling and our geothermal case studies. Additional information can be found at the Geothermal Exchange Organization, a collaborative effort with the U.S. Department of Energy and other public and private sector organizations for a “Geothermal Heat Pump Technology Demonstration and Market Mobilization Program.” Their web site offers case studies and publications on geothermal heat pump technology as well as an online guide to geothermal heating and cooling in the residential home.