Geothermal may offer cheaper alternative to propane

With propane prices sky-rocketing from the Midwest shortage, homeowners are turning to alternative ways to keep warm.

Geothermal heating is one option to avoid those price spikes. The process works by taking heat energy from the ground and using it to heat and cool the home, and even make hot water with it. Experts say La Crosse is the ideal location for geothermal warming because of its hot ground temperatures. The option can also be pretty easy on your wallet.

And the option can be pretty easy on your wallet.

“Right now, propane prices are of course out of this world, but when we compare it to what propane prices were prior to their spike, it was costing generally speaking about a third of what propane would cost to heat with,” said Mark Flock, president of Wisconsin’s Geothermal Association.

Mike Lemmon is a homeowner who uses the geothermal system. While the system costs more up front to be installed, Lemmon says the savings in his utility bills more than make up for it. With a winter as cold as this one has been, he’s glad he chose a reliable heating option.

“A lot of times people think geothermal is a technology for milder winters, but this house right now is under 100% geothermal heating right now,” Lemmon said. “It’s 70 degrees, and you’ll find it throughout the house.”

The age of your house doesn’t make a difference when it comes to installing a geothermal system – Older homes can easily be retro-fitted for the heating option.