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July 11, 2017

New Alphabet venture Dandelion wants to heat your home with geothermal energy

by John_A

Why it matters to you

We’ve heard plenty about using solar or wind energy in our homes, but less attention has been paid to geothermal energy. Until now.

Google has a new sibling in its Alphabet family, and its name is Dandelion. The latest venture to be spun out of Alphabet’s Moonshot Factory (where employees work on ambitious ventures like balloon-based Project Loon), Dandelion focuses on geothermal heating and cooling for homes, and became its own company on July 6.

According to its new website, Dandelion’s mission is to replace homeowners’ existing heating, cooling, and hot water equipment with a geothermal system that harvests energy from under their yards. The idea is to use a heat pump and subterranean pipes to transport heat from the earth to your home. In fact, these pipes will extend 300-500 feet beneath the Earth’s surface, where temperatures are almost always at about 50 degree Fahrenheit. Another pump at ground level moves water through these U-shaped pipes, and a heat pump exchanges warm for cold air (or vice versa) when needed.

But why would someone be motivated enough to install such a system of tubes beneath their home? According to Dandelion, it just makes financial sense.

“With zero down financing and low, predictable monthly payments, you can start saving on your heating and cooling bills from day one,” the company notes on its website. Furthermore, you’ll certainly be doing the planet a favor, as geothermal energy is certainly a renewable resource and is apparently more than three times as efficient than traditional heating and cooling systems. Finally, Dandelion notes that its new system is “quiet, clean, and includes a smart thermostat so you can keep your home comfortable year-round.”

Currently, Dandelion is only available in upstate New York, though its seems safe to assume that the company will soon be expanding its service areas. If you happen to live in a part of the country where Dandelion is already around, getting started requires all of three steps. First, customers are asked to undergo a free home assessment, which involves chatting with an expert to determine whether or not the solution will work for your particular situation. Then, a team member visits your home, designs the geothermal system, and schedules the actual installation. Finally, installation is handled by a local installer, and Dandelion says it typically takes two to three days. The system is currently slated to cost around $20,000.




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