Geothermal heating and cooling systems get their heat from the ground. While this concept has been exploited since ancient times, it is only a niche market today. But it’s growing in popularity, especially as fuel prices rise and fears of global warming have begun influencing lifestyles. Granted, geothermal systems are very expensive to install, but they last longer than most conventional heating and cooling systems and they cost much less to operate. Here’s how they work – they tap in to the year-round constant temperature of soil that’s below the frost line and use that soil to heat the home in the winter and absorb heat from the home in the summer. It’s really quite ingenious, and it works basically everywhere, even in Maine (you would just have to drill down a little deeper to get below the frost line). For more information about geothermal and some basic ways to inspect the systems, check out our new article on geothermal heating and cooling systems.