Disadvantages about geothermal energy
and geothermal heat pumps


First of all I want to say that geothermal heat pumps are by far the most energy efficient, green, environmentally friendly heating and cooling source available.  Now I’m an expert in residential energy efficiency so I’m well aware of solar power, it’s costs, and uses.


I’m aware of gas furnaces, propane, wind power, and water power, but when it comes to the most energy efficient source available, a geothermal heat pump, or ground source heat pump, wins the prize.


  • Is geothermal home heating and cooling cheap to install? 
    Not always (30% tax credits really help).
  • Is a geothermal heat pump for everyone and every situation?  The answer is now.
  • Should you at least entertain the idea of geothermal in your home and make an educated decision?  You cannot afford not to!


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.  Visit my energy efficient home plan service website at www.rye-homes.com and download my FREE report.


If you aren’t building a new home and just want to make your existing home more energy efficient I suggest you order my DVD that teaches you everything you need to know.  Learn more    


Tags: geothermal heating and cooling, disadvantages of geothermal energy, geothermal heat pumps.

 doug rye
Doug Rye
 New Home Design
Ultimate Energy
Action Guide