'D' is for Dandelion, Alphabet's new geothermal heating and cooling venture

dandelion geothermal 19787430 762554980590134 6872538879405589063 o
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.

Computing

Canada’s winters inspired a startup to warm homes with cryptomining heat waste

Cryptomining may be the key to untold riches and the future of currency, but it’s also an environmental nightmare. Heatmine, thinks it has the answer, but it could mean bolting a mining rig onto every home and business in the country.
Gaming

Xbox One X vs. PS4 Pro: Which Console Is More Powerful?

Far from cooling down, the console wars are only getting more intense. We compare Microsoft's Xbox One X to Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro to help you decide which premium console is right for you.
Apple

Patent highlights Apple's sky-high ambitions for AirPower wireless charger

At its September event last year, Apple unveiled the AirPower -- its new wireless charging mat that will allow you to charge multiple devices at one time. It has not yet been released. Here's everything we know about the device so far.
Product Review

Why spend more? The Yoga Chromebook outdoes most laptops for $600

The Yoga Chromebook features great build quality, a 1080p display, and all-day battery life. All that for $540? That’s right, but there’s one catch.
Smart Home

Knock, knock. Who's there? With a video doorbell, you'll never have to guess

When it comes to knowing who's at your door before you actually open it, there's nothing better than a video doorbell. Plus, you can "answer" the door even if you're not home. Here are some of our favorites.
Smart Home

The best air fryers deliver fried food with a fraction of the calories

What is this magical mechanism? It's an air fryer, and when used correctly, it can mimic the effects of frying while using just a little bit of oil. You still get that crispy, golden exterior and the fluffy center.
Smart Home

This A.I.-enabled tech brings cutting-edge automation to grocery stores

Takeoff Technologies is working to make grocery deliveries fast, accurate, and convenient using A.I.-enabled technology to augment robotic grocery orders that can be completed in minutes.
Smart Home

These wireless security cameras are a wire-free way to protect your home

Home security cameras can give you piece of mind, but if they have wires, are limited in where you can put them. We've rounded up the best battery-operated home security cameras to give you flexibility along with your security.
Smart Home

With a simple command, Alexa can arm all your security devices

Alexa customers can query status plus arm or disarm home security systems several companies. New Alexa Guard skills set your home to away mode, send alerts when alarms or sensors go off, and contact home security monitoring services.
Smart Home

Voice assistant-enabled Deebot N79S robot vacuum now deeply discounted

The Ecovacs Deebot N79 is more powerful and quieter than its predecessor and adds Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility. Ready to make cleaning easier than ever, this voice-enabled bot will vacuum your home on spoken command.
Smart Home

Facebook Portal and Portal+ video-calling devices gain new content and features

Facebook's Portal devices are video smart speakers with Alexa voice assistants built in that allow you to make calls. The 15-inch Portal+ model features a pivoting camera that follows you around the room as you speak.
Smart Home

Dog or cat shedding? These vacuums do a great job of sucking up pet hair

Got a pet hair problem? Fortunately, there's help for you and your furry friend. We tested out a bunch of vacuums that promise to remove pet hair. Here are a few of the best you can buy.
Product Review

Hue who? Nanoleaf Canvas brings a riot of color and vibrancy to the smart home

Fun and festive, Nanoleaf Canvas feature lighting adds personality and vibrancy to any room. Nanoleaf Canvas features squares that you can connect in any configuration you’d like. Sync to music, play games, or relax in soothing light.
Smart Home

Rocco wants to rock out. Parrot learns to use owner’s Amazon Alexa

Rocco, an African gray parrot, fell in love with his owner's Alexa unit and ordered himself treats and other goodies, but mostly uses the smart assistant to rock out to his favorite music.