Here’s what a leading building science expert and licensed Architect, Doug Rye, who’s been involved with the installation of over 62,000 geo systems will tell you.
"All the energy you'll ever need to heat and cool(and most of your hot water) for your house Is about 5 or 6 feet below in the ground; and it's unlimited"
He says: Geothermal heat pumps and geothermal energy heating systems are by far the most efficient energy source available today. Geothermal heat pumps use solar energy stored in the upper layer of the earths surface. The earth absorbs almost 50% of the solar energy that reaches its surface. That’s a lot of FREE energy!
Tapping into this FREE source of energy enables a geothermal heat pump to operate at an amazing 400% efficiency. This geothermal energy benefit means that you pay for 1 unit of electricity and get 3 units for FREE! Put it this way. Would you be happy if you paid for 10 gallons of gas and you received 30 gallons? Unless you work for the oil company, it’s a no-brainer.
Here are 7 reasons why you should have plans for geothermal heating and cooling in your home.
- Energy Savings: Geothermal systems use a small amount of electricity to transfer heat to and from the ground to your home. In fact, it can produce three to four units of energy for every unit of electricity used to power the system. Even the best conventional system delivers less than one unit of energy for each unit it consumes. Homeowners typically experience an annual savings of 30 to 70% when compared to ordinary systems.
- Quiet Operation: Geothermal systems use the same principles that operate a refrigerator or freezer, and the units are just as quiet. There is no unsightly outdoor unit to disturb you or your neighbors.
- Enhanced Comfort: Provides precise distribution of comfortable air all year long, eliminating hot spots and cold spots. During heating, you’ll experience warm air without the hot blasts associated with ordinary gas furnaces. And compared to an air-source heat pump, the air is warmer. When cooling, a geothermal unit delivers cool, dehumidified air. Thermostats: don’t need to be adjusted. You just set it, and forget it.
- Clean and Safe: Geothermal units do not use fossil fuels such as propane and natural gas. Threats caused by combustion are eliminated. No worries about flames, fumes, odors, or carbon monoxide. You can go all electric and eliminate the potential of feeling sick all the time in winter.
- System Lifespan: Ordinary systems often require expensive regular maintenance for each unit – the furnace, the air conditioner, and the water heater. When properly installed, a geothermal system requires little or no maintenance beyond periodic checks and filter changes. Geothermal systems typically last more than 20 years if properly maintained. It is unrivaled for economy — comparable to traditional systems in first-installed-costs and vastly superior over the long term — with energy cost savings of 25% to 50% annually.
- Positive Cash Flow: Geothermal systems will produce significantly cheaper utility bills and annual maintenance costs. The initial cost of a geothermal system can be tied into your mortgage or other form of low interest financing option. The savings on your utilities easily cover the increase in your loan payment giving you the extra cash flow. A system will usually pay for itself within a two to five year time span.
- Free Hot Water: As a bonus, a geothermal unit can provide some or all of your hot water at higher efficiencies, offering additional energy savings. Using a simple connection to your water heater, the geothermal unit will deliver hot water to the tank during the heating and cooling modes. In fact, the heat removed from your home during cooling is deposited into your water heater providing you with virtually free hot water.
Is a geothermal heat pump for everyone and every situation? The answer is no. Here are the 3 main disadvantages:
- Cost Prohibitive: a disadvantage of a geothermal heat pump used to heat and cool your home can sometimes be cost prohibitive also. It is very important to note that most of the added expense of a geothermal heat pump is in drilling the holes for the vertical loops or digging the trenches for a horizontal loop. The system inside your house is essentially the same as a conventional heating and air system.
- Not Enough Space: You may not have enough space for the loops.
- Finding a reputable installer in your area. They are not for those who don't have experience.
At SimsHeating And Cooling, we are always working to educate homeowners in the Battle Creek area about heating, cooling, comfort and safety in your home.