With the price of oil and natural gas so high these days, more and more homeowners are looking for alternative ways to heat and cool their homes. Residents in the Northeast have particularly felt the pain of high oil prices, because a lot of homes still heat with furnace oil, otherwise known as diesel fuel.
There are two areas of the HVAC industry that are really growing right now and these are geothermal heating and cooling, plus there is a return to wood burning. In both cases, geothermal and wood heating are particularly suited to rural environments.
Ask just about anyone burning home-heating oil and I bet you’ll find they are looking for alternatives. For rural residents, there is now a lot of interest in outdoor wood-burning boilers, pellet and biomass furnaces, and even traditional wood stoves. Wood-burning technology is now finally advancing and a lot of these appliances burn more cleanly and release a lot less particles into the air.
When it comes to ground source heating and cooling, geothermal heat pumps are the big news and business is booming. Despite high installation costs, geothermal heating and cooling use the relative constant warmth in the ground below the frost line. This heat is compressed and then distributed around your house. When it’s hot out, the reverse takes place and you’ve got air conditioning. These systems are highly efficient and all they take is electricity to operate.
One company that’s doing very well selling geothermal equipment is LSB Industries, Inc. (AMEX/LXU). This stock is under-followed and is very reasonably priced on the stock market right now.
With so much attention now moving towards alternative energy and more environmentally friendly products, it’s actually an exciting time to be in the HVAC industry. I’d bet money that your local geothermal installer is a hard person to get a hold of.