Getting to know geothermal

Geothermal energy is one of the oldest energy sources. It draws energy right from the ground. Since the temperature of the ground deep down doesn’t fluctuate with the weather, it’s very efficient. A geothermal heat pump can heat and cool your home using the heat of the earth, and can be used instead of an air conditioning system.

There’s not a lot of heat loss, which is why they’re so efficient. They save people about 50% on their heating and cooling bills. Geothermal energy is a renewable resource, as well, and for our clients who are looking to incorporate that into their home, this is often a more viable solution than solar panels.

The best time to install a geothermal unit

It’s easier to put a geothermal heat pump into new construction than an established home, because of the groundwork that’s involved. We are seeing more of them in our area, but we don’t often see people installing a geothermal heat pump when their air conditioner breaks. It costs more to install a geothermal unit than to replace an air conditioner.

For a new house, though, you’re building the ductwork and there’s easier access to the ground. It’s still a larger investment to install a geothermal heat pump than an air conditioning unit, but what you save in energy efficiency will cover the difference within about five years.

Geothermal advantages

Here are a few advantages to geothermal heat and air:

  • A significant decrease in heating and cooling costs.
  • Qualifies you for certain tax credits.
  • Geothermal energy is a renewable resource.
  • Lasts longer than a traditional unit.

A traditional unit typically lasts around ten to fifteen years before you need to replace it. The lifespan of a geothermal heat pump is 25 years for the inside components and 50 years for the ground system.

Where we typically see geothermal units right now is in commercial buildings. It makes their operating costs much cheaper, helps them be an energy-efficient property, and qualifies them for special tax credits as well.

Regardless of whether it’s commercial or residential, there are two different way to install geothermal heat pumps: drilling deep vertical lines into the ground, or drilling lengthwise in the ground like corkscrews.

If this sounds like something you’d like to consider, we’d be happy to have a conversation with you about what’s possible for your home.

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