Why Aren’t Underground Homes More Popular in Oklahoma?
Given that Oklahoma has Summer and severe weather most of the year, it's a wonder why underground housing isn't more popular. Granted, there was an underground movement back in the 80s that really never took hold, but there are a handful of these houses in SWOK.
I know, I know... The well-documented problems with these houses are pretty well known. Ventilation issues that cause mold and that familiar wet smell aren't anything to look forward to, but in this day in age, the technology and how we understand ventilation, heating, and cooling can completely take care of that.
You see, the Earth stays at a pretty constant temperature, about 55 degrees. You toss a house under a few feet of dirt, you're benefiting from that constant the whole year round. You can effortlessly keep it warm during those few weeks of Winter we get, and keep it cool the rest of the year with minimal or even zero air conditioning.
"How can I have zero air conditioning?"
It's called geothermal, and it's growing in popularity. Like any other renewable energy, it's very pricey up front but pays for itself in time. It works like this...
A company drills a narrow long hole deep into the ground. Then they shove tubes down it and fill it in with a mortar that has similar properties to rock. They fill the tubes with antifreeze, then pump it in a loop from your home into the ground and back. That constant temp can be used to both cool and heat your home all year.
"What about tornadoes?"
While safe rooms have seen an increase in popularity in the last fifteen years or so, underground is the safest place to be in the event of a tornado.
If your whole house was underground, it wouldn't experience any damage from a twister, right? Meh... hard to say since it wouldn't be completely underground.
"But what about earthquakes?"
That's no joke. Oklahoma is pretty seismic, but companies that do this work stand by their quality. With your home under an insulating layer of dirt, your heating and cooling bills can be zero dollars. It's a win-win, yet we still don't see too many underground houses.
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