How can I heat my house with groundwater that is only 50 degrees?
The technology is nothing new. Compare it to the use of a water cooler. You use cool water and with a refrigeration unit, you remove heat from that water to chill it down to optimal drinking temperature. The water ends up slightly cooler, and the heat that is removed to bring it down to a lower temperature can be felt being discharged from the vents at the side of the water cooler. This discharged heat is exactly the same as the heat that could be heating your house. In the process of cooling that water, you are actually removing heat from it and discharging it into the air being pumped from the vents in the water cooler.
How efficient is a geothermal system?
The GSHP (Ground Source Heat Pump) is one of the most efficient residential heating and cooling systems available today, with heating efficiencies 50% to 70% higher than other heating systems and cooling efficiencies 40% to 60% higher than available air conditioners. That directly translates into savings for you on your utility bills.
Can one system provide both space heating and cooling for my home? And what about heating domestic hot water?
A geothermal unit can be a combination heating/cooling and hot water heating system. You can switch from heating to cooling and vice versa with a simple adjustment on your indoor thermostat. Using a desuperheater, ground source heat pumps can save you up to 50% on your water-heating bill by pre-heating tank water.
How much space does a geothermal unit require?
It varies. A closed loop design will fit into most large back yards. An open loop design requires only a adequate source of water from your existing well or pond.
Inside the house, the heat pump units are about the same size as a traditional heating and cooling unit.
Will an underground loop affect my lawn or landscape?
No. Research has shown that ground loops have no adverse effects on grass, trees, or shrubs. Some horizontal installations require a trenches about six to ten feet wide. Other installations can be installed with a horizontal boring method which does not disturb the existing surface at all. Temporary bare areas can be restored with grass seed or sod.
How much does a geothermal system cost?
There are many factors that affect the cost of a geothermal heat pump system:
- Size of your house
- Quality of insulation
- Size, location, and quality of your windows
- Air infiltration of house
- Location and elevation of house
- Size and terrain of your building lot
- Type of ground beneath the house; i.e. rocky, sandy, dry, wet etc.
- Type of heat pump equipment specified
What tax credits are available?
The Federal tax credit for geothermal heat pumps is 30%. This is a tax credit, not a deduction, meaning that 30% of the cost of your new system may be subtracted from your final tax bill for the year you have the system installed.
How long will my geothermal system last?
Ground source heat pumps are durable and highly reliable. The geothermal unit contains fewer mechanical components, and all components are either buried in the ground or located inside the home, which protects them from outside conditions. The underground pipe carries up to a 25 year warranty. Our geothermal units use Copeland Scroll Compressors which have a ten year warranty, including labor, as do the air and water coils.
How noisy is the geothermal unit?
Ground source heat pumps are quiet, providing a pleasant environment inside & outside the home. Geothermal units have no noisy fan units to disturb outdoor activities, on or near the patio.
How safe are geothermal units?
Ground source heat pump systems are safe and protected. With no exposed equipment outdoors, children or pets cannot injure themselves or damage exterior units. Geothermal systems have no open flame, no toxic exhaust fumes, flammable fuel or potentially dangerous fuel storage tanks.
What about comfort?
A ground source heat pump system moves warm air (90-105 degrees F) throughout your home or business via standard ductwork. An even comfort level is created because the warm air is moved in slightly higher volumes and these higher volumes saturate the building with warmth more evenly. This helps even out hot or cold spots and eliminates the cold air blasts common with fossil fuel furnaces.
Can these systems be used for commercial, industrial, or apartment requirements?
Yes! Many geothermal systems are being installed using multiple systems hooked up to an array of buried vertical or horizontal loops. This simplifies zone control and internal load balancing. Many schools now are using this method to heat their new buildings.
How do geothermal systems protect the environment?
Ground source heat pump systems conserve natural resources by providing climate control very efficiently and lowering emissions. Geothermal units also minimize ozone layer destruction by using factory-sealed refrigeration systems, which now use the "earth friendly" Freon- 410A.
What are the environmental benefits of geothermal systems?
Currently installed systems are making a huge difference in our environment! The systems are eliminating more than three million tons of carbon dioxide, which is the equivalent of taking 650,000 automobiles off the road. Geothermal systems conserve energy and, because they are moving heat that already exists rather than burning something to create heat, they reduce the amount of toxic emissions into the atmosphere. They use renewable energy from the sun, and, because the system doesn't rely on outside air, the air inside buildings is also kept cleaner and free from pollens, outdoor pollutants, mold spores, and other allergens.
I have hot water heat using a boiler, will geothermal work with that type of heating?
Yes, depending upon the amount of radiation(baseboard registers or radiators) that your home has installed. Also on new construction, under slab PEX tubing can be easily installed for warm concrete floors in the basement or garage areas.
Will my existing ductwork function with this system?
Yes, in most cases it will. We will be able to determine exact ductwork requirements and if any minor modifications are needed, they can be made quickly and easily.
Can a geothermal system be added to my fossil fuel furnace?
Yes. Called dual or hybrid systems, a ground source heat pump can easily be added to existing furnaces for those wishing to have a dual-fuel heating system. Hybrid systems use the geothermal system as the main heating source, and a fossil fuel furnace as a supplement in extremely cold weather should additional heat be needed.
Will I have to add insulation to my home if I install one of these systems?
Ground source heat pump systems will reduce your heating and cooling costs regardless of how well your home is insulated. However, insulating and weatherizing are key factors in gaining the maximum amount of savings from any type of heating and cooling system.
My house is small, will it benefit from geothermal?
No house is too small or too large to benefit from geothermal. We have installed geothermal systems in 1100 sq. ft. manufactured homes and 6000+ sq. ft. custom-built homes, with equally satisfied homeowners.
My home is old, will geothermal work in it also?
Absolutely! We have installed geothermal units in homes built BEFORE the civil war. We do recommend that older homes have adequate insulation, just as we do for any HVAC system.