The earth’s crust absorbs 47% of the sun’s heat (energy) and maintains it a few feet below the surface. A geothermal system transfers that heat from the ground to the heat pump via water circulation through the loop. The heat is picked by the refrigerant cycle, compressed to raise the temperature, and delivered through the duct work to heat your home. In the summer, the process is reversed and the heat is moved or “pumped” from your home into the cool ground.
Benefits of installing a geothermal HVAC system in your home include:
- Lower operating costs - geothermal heat pumps operate much more efficiently, require less maintenance, and have better warranties than ordinary heating and cooling systems.
- Enhanced comfort - geothermal systems distribute air with remarkable precision, eliminating hot and cold spots all year long with quiet operation. There's no noisy outdoor unit!
- Reliable performance - given their indoor installation, geothermal systems aren't subject to the rain, snow, ice, debris, temperature extremes, and vandalism that knock out ordinary heat pumps and air conditioners.
- Environmental harmony-geothermal systems are green heat pumps, emitting no carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, or other greenhouse gasses on site.
The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and the DOE (Department of Energy) concluded that geothermal heat pumps are the most environmentally friendly and cost-efficient way to heat and cool your home. The systems not only improve your home environment, but help the world environment in several ways:
· Utilized in all 50 states, geothermal energy can be found anywhere underground or in a lake.
· Geothermal energy is available 24 hours/day, 365 days/year and is renewable.
· Geothermal heat pumps reduce the load on the electrical grid and power generation as a distributed resource that greatly reduces peak demand.
· Installing a WaterFurnace system is the environmental equivalent of planting 750 trees, or removing 2 cars from the road, or saving 9 tons of coal annually.
It normally takes less than 5 years to make up the difference in cost of a geothermal system vs. a high end conventional system due to energy savings and the 30% Renewable Energy Tax Credit (through 2016). The life expectancy of a geothermal unit is 20+ years vs. 12-15 years on conventional units. When the unit is replaced, the loop and other equipment can be reused. The replacement geothermal unit’s cost, by itself, is similar to a high end conventional unit.
Overall, it is hard to find a better investment. Additional dollars in your bank account every month from energy savings are tax free. These savings normally more than cover the increase in payments when you add the cost of the system to your mortgage. Typically, you can have positive cash flow starting the first year, break even in less than 5 years, and have continuous savings for the next 15 years or more. When utility rates increase, your rate of return increases. Think about locking into a great investment and energy savings for the life of your home. If you decide to sell your home, the geothermal system will add value and help generate buyers.