The Geothermal program is another energy efficiency program we offer. It utilizes the natural heating and cooling power of the Earth to save you money year round.
Like any type of heat pump, it simply moves heat energy from one place to another. A geothermal heat pump is like a refrigerator because they work using the same scientific principle. By using refrigeration, the geothermal heat pump removes heat energy stored in the earth and/or the earth’s groundwater and transfers it to the home.
Geothermal Customer Packet
What is a geothermal heat pump?
- A geothermal or “ground-source” heat pump is an electrically powered device that uses the natural heat storage ability of the earth and/or the earth’s groundwater to heat and cool your home or business at very high efficiencies.
How does a geothermal pump work?
- Like any type of heat pump, it simply moves heat energy from one place to another. A geothermal heat pump is like a refrigerator because they work using the same scientific principle. By using refrigeration, the geothermal heat pump removes heat energy stored in the earth and/or the earth’s groundwater and transfers it to the home.
How is heat transferred between the earth and the home?
- The earth has the ability to absorb and store heat energy. To use that stored geothermal energy, heat is extracted from the earth through a liquid medium (water or an anti-freeze solution) circulated in the ground via open or closed earth loops and is transferred to the heat pump heat exchanger. There, the heat is used to heat your home. In the summer, the process is reversed and indoor heat is extracted from your home and transferred to the earth through the liquid circulating in the loops underground.
Do I need separate geothermal ground loops for heating and cooling?
- No, the same loop works for both. When changing from heating to cooling, or vice versa, the flow of heat is reversed by a mechanism inside the unit.
Where can this loop be located?
- That depends on land availability and terrain. Closed-loops are trenched horizontally in yards adjacent to the home if the yard is large enough. Or, for smaller yards, the loops can be installed vertically using a drill rig, much like a water well installation
How long will the loop pipe last?
- Properly installed, these pipes will last over 50 years.
Can a geothermal heat pump be added to my fossil fuel (gas, oil, propane) furnace?
- Split systems can easily be added to existing furnaces for those wishing to have a dual-fuel system. Use the heat pump as the main heating source and a furnace as a supplement in extremely cold weather if additional heat is needed.
I have ductwork, but will it work with this system?
- In most circumstances, yes. Your installing contractor should be able to determine ductwork requirements and any minor modifications if needed.
What does a geothermal system cost?
- A geothermal system for the typical home will cost more than if you bought a conventional central air conditioning system. But you wouldn’t be comparing “apples to apples.” To get an accurate comparison of costs you need to consider the following:
- Payback, or how long it takes to recover the difference in costs between the two systems using energy savings. Payback for most geothermal heat pump systems runs three to five years.
- Federal, state and local tax credits / incentives will significantly reduce the upfront cost of installing a geothermal system.
- Energy efficiency of the two systems. To get an accurate picture, make sure efficiency claims are substantiated. Your lifestyle and how well your home is insulated affect how economical a system will be, too.
- Total operating savings from heating, cooling and domestic hot water must be combined to get an accurate picture of total energy savings.
- Energy costs and availability, both present and future.
- Maintenance costs and system reliability.
- System lifespan.
For more information on our Geothermal Program, please contact 405-656-2322.