Geothermal technology has been used for several decades by large commercial structures and school, but its use in residential homes was limited.
That has changed in the last 10 years as the price of the systems came down and incentives from the federal government have increased.
The federal government is offering a 30 percent tax credit for the entire cost of the system and installation.
"Business is definitely increasing every year," said Dan Rau, president of Colorado Geothermal Drilling.
Rau says the tax credit has been an incentive for individuals to switch to geothermal technology, but the rise in traditional energy costs have been a driving force as well.
"That's kind of the beauty of geothermal. You don't need to burn natural gas. You don't have high utility bills. As far as the electricity goes, a couple of pumps run everything and you're good to go," Brian Anderson, service manager for Cooper Heating and Cooling, said.
To install a geothermal system, holes are drilled several hundred feet into the earth and pipes for a loop leading to the home.
"We're circulating water through a series of pipes in the ground and through those pipes we transfer heat," Rau said. "The heat pump takes the place of the furnace and air conditioner."
The cost of a geothermal system varies based on the size of the home and its heating and cooling needs. The geothermal system can be used to create forced air heating and cooling, radiant floor heating, domestic water heating, and for pool and spa heating systems.
"During the heating season we take the ground heat and pump that into the house. During the cooling season we take heat out of the house and pump it into the ground to be re-cooled," Anderson said.
Doug Schuck is having a geothermal system installed in his new home. He says that while the upfront cost of the system can seem steep, the numbers looked reasonable when he took time to study them.
"Turns out with the tax credit, that it's actually quite reasonable to install and the biggest benefit for me is the savings that you get in utility bills going forward," Schuck said.
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