The Smart Guide to Geothermal

Discover why geothermal heat pumps are the most energy-efficient technology for heating and cooling, and how all homes -- new or retrofit, in hot or cold climates -- can use this reliable, silent, non-polluting way of extracting free energy from the earth.

For homeowners and homebuilding partners (architects, builders, lenders, etc.)


"This book has helped give me the knowledge and confidence to move forward. It took geothermal from something too good to be true to something too good to ignore."
- Louis S., New York homeowner

"After 20 years as consultant, CGD and IGSHPA instructor, and a vetted Geo Junkie, this is a very rare, not to mention 'the best', holistic and non-technical presentation of technical information I've seen. Within the past hour, I have decided to order another 20 for routine use in my 'ramp up' of new clients. A few bucks as a gift will save me weeks of education."
- John Geyer, John Geyer & Associates - Vancouver, WA

"If you want to learn about the best way to heat and cool your home, this is the place to start. In this small volume you will quickly learn the basics of heating and cooling technology, why ground source heat pumps are the most efficient, cheapest and environmentally smartest approach to take, and how to make it work for you. Don Lloyd provides that rare combination that makes learning easy--firsthand experience and practical knowledge. This is the kind of guide that will help you avoid pitfalls while also giving you enough understanding so that expectations can be realistic. Buy this book - you'll be smarter for doing it."
- William E. Glassley, Ph.D., author of Geothermal Energy: Renewable Energy and the Environment

"Your book is a great guide for anyone considering energy efficiency solutions and even more importantly, those who have not yet considered or acknowledged geothermal as a viable answer to heating and cooling. A must-read for the professional builder and architect who have shied away from geothermal for lack of information and understanding. This book puts geothermal and especially 'DX' in its proper perspective in a clear concise manner for both the professional and laymen. Soon geothermal will no longer be 'the best kept secret' in renewable energy."
- Diana Gaeta, Total Green LLC

"The Smart Guide to Geothermal is a great introduction to geothermal heating and cooling. The writing style is friendly and makes a sometimes-difficult-to-understand technology easy to grasp. I recommend this book to any homeowner who is looking for a good energy-saving (and long-term money-saving) option to fossil fuel-based heating. The author has done an excellent job of communicating his enthusiasm along with a lot of good information."
- Marilyn Nemzer, Executive Director, Geothermal Education Office

"Thank you, Don Lloyd, for writing a geothermal book that is accessible for homeowners. Educating consumers about geothermal heat pumps is the responsibility of everyone in the geothermal industry; Don's book gives us another tool to use as we try to improve the way we heat and cool our buildings."
- Brian Hayden, HeatSpring Institute


  • Geothermal system options, including open-loop, closed-loop and DX configurations, using horizontal and vertical earth loops.
  • The importance of finding a qualified contractor.
  • Costs, tax credits and payback issues, plus calculating increased home values.
  • Who is using geothermal energy, including the author's firsthand experiences, home profiles in the US and Canada, as well as an overview of non-residential projects.
  • How solar electricity can be used to power the system, plus other future trends.
  • Unraveling the science and technology of geothermal heat pumps (GHPs).
  • Understanding GHP performance standards, ratings and warranties in the US and Canada.
  • Careers: joining the geothermal industry.
  • Comprehensive appendix with numerous resources.

Author Don Lloyd

Don Lloyd is an electrical engineer now retired from Honeywell after 35 years in marketing, engineering and project management. He has extensive experience in taking complex subjects (such as laser gyroscopes or mosaic infrared detectors) and explaining how they work in terms understood by the general public. He is at his best when giving lectures describing how geothermal heat pumps work and why they are the ideal heating and cooling solution for homeowners. Prior to entering the geothermal world, he operated his own software consulting business as a Microsoft Certified Software Professional. He also served as an officer in the US Army. Don lives in the Hudson River Valley region of New York State with his wife, artist Martha Lloyd, in their new home where the oil trucks pass by but never stop. "Installing a geothermal heat pump was one of the best decisions I ever made!"

Don can be reached at: dlloyd1 [at]


As this book's technical advisor, Michael Hunt contributed real-world experience gained from over 27 years of working in the geothermal heat pump industry. He has designed, consulted, and installed heat pump projects throughout North America, and as an accredited IGSHPA installation trainer, he has introduced proper GHP installation and design techniques to over 700 contractors and engineers. Michael is the founder of GeoFurnace Manufacturing Inc, a heat pump manufacturer in South Dakota. His residential and commercial experience includes heat load analysis, loop field design, conductivity testing and field installations, with system designs that include forced hot air, radiant, snow melt, pool dehumidification, domestic hot water and industrial process water applications. His expertise is often used to resolve heat pump and system imperfections, and he performs independent peer review of other system designs, design validation and commissioning.

The Smart Guide to Geothermal: How to Harvest Earth's Free Energy for Heating & Cooling
by Donal Blaise Lloyd
ISBN 978-0-9773724-8-5
paperback 5.5" x 8.5"
192 pages, illustrated
published 2011

pdfTable of Contents


pdfCorrected page 63