Disadvantages of
Geothermal Energy

When it comes to energy efficiency and renewable energy, geothermal energy and geothermal heat pumps take the prize.  Geothermal energy is renewable and safe for the environment.  When I talk about true geothermal energy that is stored deep in the earth's crust, I am referring to super-heated steam within the earth.


When I talk about geothermal heat pumps, it's actually nothing like geothermal energy.  Geo means earth and thermal means heat.  So, both situations refer to the earth's heat.


One stored deep below the earth caused by continental plates rubbing together and the other taking advantage of the solar rays absorbed in the upper few feet of the earth.


geothermal energy


  • Is a geothermal air conditioning and heating system cheap to install?
    Not really, but then I don't want the cheapest system there is in my house anyway
     (30% tax credits really help).
  • Is a geothermal furnace for everyone and every situation? The answer is no.
    In some cases the payback just isn't worth the additional costs.  On some homes it would be the best investment today.

  • Should you at least entertain the idea of geothermal in your home and make an educated decision? You cannot afford not to! During my green, custom home design and energy analsyis I can answer all your questions.


Since this page is about the disadvantages of geothermal energy let me list a few:


  1. Geothermal energy defined as heat stored deep below the earth’s surface is definitely a green, eco-friendly energy source.  However, it can be VERY expensive to tap into this source.  The super-heated water is very deep in the earth’s crust and can be cost prohibitive to drill this deep.

    Another disadvantage of this type of geothermal energy is that it can be fairly difficult and expense to built the plants required to convert the hot water and steam into a usable electricity.

    A geothermal energy plant, like the one pictured below in Iceland, cannot be used for residential use and is a true power plant.
    geothermal energy disadvantages

  2. A disadvantage of a geothermal heat pump used to heat and cool your home can sometimes be cost prohibitive also.  It is very important to note that most of the added expense of a geothermal heat pump is in drilling the holes for the vertical loops (picture) or digging the trenches for a horizontal loop (picture).  The system inside your house is essentially the same as a conventional heating and air system.

  3. Another potential disadvantage of a geothermal heating and cooling system can be finding a reputable installer in your area.  While these systems are gaining in popularity, it’s becoming easier and easier to find reputable installers.



Despite these disadvantages, I still strongly recommend that you take a serious look into a geothermal heating and cooling system for your home.  If you are building and new home and looking for energy efficient house plans I can help you with your custom blueprints and teach you how to make it super energy efficient. 


We will discuss your options for a geothermal heating and cooling system, the advantages for your home, and the payback period. Download my FREE report, "20 Critical Design Aspects Every Homeowner Must Know BEFORE Building A New Home" at www.rye-homes.com.  



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Phillip Rye
Phillip Rye

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