The Illinois Geothermal Tour is coming to a location near you. On Saturday, Sept. 21, homes and businesses with geothermal systems will open their doors for a series of open house events hosted by geothermal contractors and utilities. The geothermal tour is being organized and sponsored by the Geothermal Alliance of Illinois (GAOI).
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has declared Sept. 21 as Geothermal Day in Illinois, and encourages residents of the Land of Lincoln to learn more about this renewable energy technology.
Geothermal systems use the earth’s naturally-produced energy to provide heating and cooling for homes and businesses. Most geothermal systems circulate fluid through a closed-loop pipe system installed underground. Because the earth is typically about 55 degrees, year-round in Illinois, the geothermal heat pump can efficiently extract heat from the fluid in the loop in the winter months, then reverse itself and pump heat back into the loop during air conditioning season. As a free byproduct, most geothermal systems can also produce a significant portion of a home’s hot water needs virtually for free.
Because they use no fossil fuels and have no combustion, geothermal systems typically provide energy savings of 50 percent or more.
Bob Dickey of Eastern Illini Electric Cooperative, Paxton, is a geothermal proponent and Director of the GAOI and Chairman of the Illinois Geothermal Tour. He says, “This is a great way for folks to get a first-hand look at a geo system in operation – and talk directly to people who have installed one. You can see the system in action, and learn more about how much energy and money folks are saving with geothermal.”
Each site on the Illinois Geothermal Tour will be open for tours from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21. To find a site in your area, or learn more about geothermal heating and cooling, please visit www.gaoi.org.