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Home Energy Installations: Geothermal vs. Solar

Which Is the Best Option for You?

The majority of homeowners use electricity, natural gas, or oil to power their homes. However, over the last decade or so, some have turned to alternative sources of energy such as solar or geothermal. Here, our geothermal installation experts explain the differences between the two:

How These Energies Work

While both solar and geothermal energy harvest the power of nature, they work in different ways. Solar panels (which are often installed on your roof) capture the light from the sun and convert it into useable electricity. Geothermal installations, on the other hand, are placed in the ground and use the heat from the earth to power an underground looped system that produces energy.

Location’s Affect on Efficiency

Before homeowners can consider installing an alternative source of energy for their home, they have to first consider the location of their home. Because solar power relies on the sun, a home in a very shaded area or in a state with lots of cloud cover isn’t ideal. While you would still likely get some energy, your solar panels wouldn’t be living up to their true potential. Geothermal units, however, can be used in every region and are especially effective when producing heat. This means if your home is in a colder area, you’ll benefit even more.

Considering the Money Aspect

Cost is a big factor when considering an alternative source of energy – after all, both are significant investments, so many homeowners want to be sure of what they want. The cost of solar panels and the cost of a geothermal installation both depend on the size of your home and how much energy you use. Solar panel costs vary by the number of panels you want to use but can be rounded to $10,000-$20,000. Geothermal units are a little more in price at around $20,000-$25,000.

Before you decide between solar and geothermal, you’ll also want to figure out the amount of money you’ll save in the long run. This depends on the main energy source for your home. If your home is powered by oil or natural gas and you install solar panels, they will only save you money on your electric bill. However, if you choose a geothermal installation, you’ll save money on both your heating and cooling bills.

For more information about geothermal installations, contact our experts today.