A few years ago, my husband and I invested in a gorgeous piece of property in Birmingham, Alabama, with the intention of building our dream home.
We just love the combination of Southern charm and modern amenities.
There is a really exciting arts community, all sorts of shopping opportunities and amazing restaurants. The area is very focused on preserving the city’s natural beauty and outdoor spaces. My husband and I are also very environmentally conscious. When we designed our new home, we prioritized efficiency. Our hope was to minimize our carbon footprint. We decided to install solar panels to handle the majority of our power needs and a geothermal heat pump to provide for our heating and cooling requirements. The purchase and installation of a geothermal heat pump is far more expensive than other temperature control options. There is a great deal of costly excavation required to implement the underground loop system. However, the heat pump has few moving parts, is protected inside the home and can be expected to last upwards of twenty years. The underground loop is warrantied for fifty years and should provide reliable operation for twice that. Due to the outstanding efficiency of the system, it has paid for itself in under five years. The geothermal heat pump takes advantage of free and renewable energy available underground. In heating mode, it delivers this heat into the home. During the summer, the operation is reversed and heat is pulled out of the house. The process produces four units of energy for every one needed to run the equipment, achieving a 400% efficiency rating. We also enjoy a virtually free source of hot water.