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Google's Dandelion Offers Geothermal Alternative For Heating And Cooling Homes

Alphabet is a relatively new parent company for Google and its many subsidiaries, such as Google Fiber, Waymo, and X. On July 6th, they added another company, Dandelion, to their portfolio. Dandelion will be adding geothermal energy to homes for heating and cooling purposes, which is very expensive and limited out of the gate.

To begin with, what is geothermal heating and cooling? It’s a system that functions with two separate parts. One is a heat pump that’s inside of the home, which includes two underground pipes that are located in the yard of the property. The pump is able to control both heating and cooling. The pipes can be dug anywhere from 300 to 500 feet into the ground.

For those that need relief from the heat, Dandelion’s website explains that the process is similar to how a refrigerator works. It’ll move heat out of the house and into the Earth to keep things cool. When it needs to be heated, the same pump will move that hot air back into the house from Earth. Allegedly, this is three times more efficient than the traditional method of heating and cooling our homes.

Other amenities with the Dandelion system include a water heater and a smart thermostat. Everything outside of the pipes will be installed by a technician in the house and “ground loops” will be placed into the ground with “a clean drilling technology” that will create “minimal disruption to the yard,” according to the company. Luckily, the only maintenance needed will be changing the air filter once or twice a year.

This heating and cooling process is obviously unique, so for people who purchase it, it means replacing an entire existing system. As exciting as it all sounds, not everyone can rip things out of their house and install a geothermal system. But for people who are looking to renovate, upgrade, or design their home from scratch, it's absolutely a fascinating option. Though it's worth noting Dandelion won't be available across the nation just yet. First, Dandelion is starting up in New York, and only in these 11 counties: Albany, Columbia, Dutchess, Fulton, Greene, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, and Ulster.

For those that live in the area, they can get their property evaluated to see if the system will work. Those that do qualify will have an estimated $20,000 cost for the system. There are a few pieces of good news: First, the system will likely be offered to more areas in the future, meaning that more people can have these in their homes. Second, in terms of finances, there is the possibility of zero down financing, and the overall cost can be split into monthly payments.

In a Digital Trends report, they layout the process in three steps, making it a surprisingly simple and amicable home improvement job. The evaluation is the first step, and the second is having a Dandelion designer coming out to the property to custom design the system so it works efficiently. Finally, the installation is scheduled and takes just two or three days to complete.

Why go with a system like this? Dandelion explains that it could ultimately be less per month when compared to the average of spending $2,500 a year on air conditioning and heating. They also describe the many benefits with this process, saying, “Geothermal heating and cooling is the cleanest and most efficient and heating and cooling technology on the market. Because the system taps into a renewable resource, the earth, your heating and cooling source will never run out and monthly bills are predictable.”

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