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Geothermal vs Solar Energy

One of the best ways to lower our carbon footprint is to harness the Earth's resources to heat and cool our homes. The two main methods of doing so are with geothermal heat pumps and solar panels. With both having a big upfront cost, which one will give you the most return on investment?


Solar panels require the sun to work. So, if you live in a rainy/cloudy environment, your solar panels would lose efficiency over time and provide unpredictable service.

Geothermal heat pumps use the Earth's heat, and the further north you live, the more heat is needed during winter. They also provide 500% more efficiency than gas or oil heating, making it a better option than solar in colder climates. That means the further south you live, you'll have more sunny days and need less heat, making solar panels the better option.


Geothermal heat pumps are more expensive, especially in retrofits, and require a lot of piping and excavating. Solar panels are fastened to a roof and can even be leased for $0-$3,000 or bought for $15,000+. Geothermal pricing depends but is averaged around $20-30k.


The initial cost of one of these systems shouldn't be a deterrent because both have a payback rate of about 7 years when you take into account tax rebates and increasing fuel costs. Both also make the property more appealing to potential buyers.

Thinking about geothermal heating or have more questions on how to make your home more energy efficient in the future? Call 72 Degrees Comfort Company at 515-965-7272 or email us at

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