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Listen Up: Chill Out with Air, Water and Geothermal Heat Pumps

I bet you didn't know that on cool days there is heat that can be extracted from the air. Even better, you can get heat from ground water or underground sources. And you don't have to be in a volcanically active area. Heat pumps are basically air conditioners that run in reverse — but they are designed to extract heat from the air, water or ground (cooling these heat reservoirs in the process).

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It may sound cool to use your air conditioner in reverse to heat your house — but the biggest benefit is efficiency. Modern heat pumps have energy efficiency ratios (EERs) in the range of 20 to 30, compared to about 3 for direct electric heating. So for many people, it is cheaper to install a heat pump for space heating than to heat your house with oil or gas. And if your electricity comes from solar, even better.

Our special guest for this week's show is Chris Williams, Chief Marketing Officer for Heatspring. Chris is a hands-on expert with both heat pumps and solar power, and has installed dozens of systems in the New England states.  Listen to this week's Energy Show on Renewable Energy World as Chris and Barry talk about the practical aspects of installing a heat pump for your home or business.

Find more episodes of The Energy Show here.

About The Energy Show

As energy costs consume more and more of our hard-earned dollars, we as consumers really start to pay attention. But we don't have to resign ourselves to $5/gallon gas prices, $200/month electric bills and $500 heating bills. There are literally hundreds of products, tricks and techniques that we can use to dramatically reduce these costs — very affordably.

The Energy Show on Renewable Energy World is a weekly 20-minute podcast that provides tips and advice to reduce your home and business energy consumption. Every week we'll cover topics that will help cut your energy bill, explain new products and technologies in plain English, and cut through the hype so that you can make smart and cost-effective energy choices. 

About Your Host

Barry Cinnamon is a long-time advocate of renewable energy and is a widely recognized solar power expert. In 2001 he founded Akeena Solar — which grew to become the largest national residential solar installer by the middle of the last decade with over 10,000 rooftop customers coast to coast. He partnered with Westinghouse to create Westinghouse Solar in 2010, and sold the company in 2012.

His pioneering work on reducing costs of rooftop solar power systems include Andalay, the first solar panel with integrated racking, grounding and wiring; the first UL listed AC solar panel; and the first fully “plug and play” AC solar panel. His current efforts are focused on reducing the soft costs for solar power systems, which cause system prices in the U.S. to be double those of Germany.

Although Barry may be known for his outspoken work in the solar industry, he has hands-on experience with a wide range of energy saving technologies.  He's been doing residential energy audits since the punch card days, developed one of the first ground-source heat pumps in the early ‘80s, and always abides by the Laws of Thermodynamics.

Read more geothermal energy news here.

Lead image: Green microphone via Shutterstock

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