Geothermal heating and cooling systems are incredibly green, as they don’t heavily rely on fossil fuels. Geothermal offers many benefits, including efficiency, low maintenance, low environmental impact, and substantial cost savings over time.
How Do Geothermal Heating & Cooling Systems Work?
A geothermal heating and cooling system comprises a heat-pump unit, a liquid heat exchanger medium, and an air-delivery system, such as ductwork or radiant heating.
Geothermal heating and cooling systems tap into the renewable energy beneath the Earth’s surface to cool or heat your home. Six to eight feet below the ground, temperatures stay relatively consistent year-round, regardless of the weather above.
We tap into this heat source and use underground water pipes (called an “Earth loop”) to soak up the Earth’s heat and bring it back to your home. The tubes are made of polyethylene and can be buried vertically or horizontally, depending on your space requirements. A heat pump and an air delivery system use ducts to distribute heat around your home.
You can design an “open loop” system if an aquifer is available. This open loop system is a well that is drilled into the groundwater. Water is pumped up, runs past a heat exchanger, and returns the water to the same aquifer.
During the summer, this process is reversed, taking heat from your home and putting it back underground.
There is a high upfront cost for geothermal energy systems, primarily due to the expense of burning the earth loop. The initial geothermal installation’s sticker shock can be alleviated by tying the upfront costs to monthly mortgage remittances or other financing options. These upfront costs can typically be recouped over the years with huge energy cost savings.
Homeowners can see energy savings of 25-50 percent, according to Energy.gov. The average household saves around $129 a month, lowering utility bills by as much as 50 percent. A 2,000-square-foot house can be heated and cooled for as little as $1/day with a geothermal system.
These savings can usually recoup your investment in about five to ten years. Heat pumps typically last around 20 years; underground pipe systems usually have 25 to 50 years of service.
With a little modification, homeowners can have their geothermal system generate some, if not all, of their hot water. Hot water is stored in your water heater, and heat extracted from the home is then sent to the water heater during the cooling cycle.
Heat can be transferred to your water heater during the winter to save you as much as 50 percent of standard water heating energy costs. Check out this Geothermal Cost Savings Calculator to calculate your savings by switching to geothermal.
Contact Cassell Brothers Home Services today for more information on geothermal heating and cooling system installation in the Midlands of South Carolina.
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