Free geothermal energy can be found all over the world. The ground serves as an excellent collector of solar heat, absorbing up to 47% of the sun’s energy. When harnessed properly, geothermal technologies will create substantial energy savings from Day 1. Up to 70% of a home’s energy bill is often attributed to heating, cooling, and hot water heating. Geothermal technologies provide users a great opportunity to reduce energy consumption and monthly expenses in all of the above, using just one system.
Geothermal heat pump (ground source heat pump) technology is based on the concept of heat transfer. Instead of burning fuel to generate heat, heat pumps simply deliver and concentrate existing heat from where it is abundant (in this case, underground) to where you need it – inside your building.
In the summer, this process is reversed, as the heat from inside the building is transferred safely underground. According to the EPA and DOE, geothermal systems are the most environmentally friendly, cost effective, and energy efficient heating and cooling technology available.
Now is the time to install a geothermal heat pump system! There is a 30% federal tax credit on the total installation cost (including parts and labor) which expires in 2016 and numerous state and local rebates and credits available for installations. Taking advantage of these incentives will reduce the total installation cost bringing it in line with competitive technologies. Please look at www.dsireusa.org for more information on incentives or contact us and we can help direct you.
What are the benefits?
Lower Operating & Life Cycle Costs
Geothermal heat pumps consume significantly less energy than conventional HVAC systems because they are drawing free energy from the earth. Electricity is used to power the equipment’s pump, compressor, and fan, while the earth’s stored energy does the rest. Many geothermal heat pumps deliver over four units of energy for every unit of energy consumed. The EPA has estimated that geothermal systems can save homeowners 30-70% and 20-50% on their heating and cooling costs, respectively, relative to conventional HVAC systems.
More Consistent Air Temperature and Quality Than Conventional HVAC Systems
Geothermal heat pumps are very effective at providing consistent and conditioned air. In the heating application, users experience warm air without the hot blasts associated with ordinary gas furnaces. Additionally, the distributed air from a geothermal heat pump is warmer than the distributed air coming from an air-source heat pump. When cooling, a geothermal unit delivers cool, dehumidified air.
Minimal Maintenance Costs
A single geothermal system heats and cools a building and produces hot water. Indoor placement of this system eliminates exposure to the elements, which often adversely affects the system operation, maintenance costs, and lifetime. The HDPE pipe, elbows, tees, and couplings in the pipe loop come with a 50 year warrantee.
Free Hot Water
Most geothermal heat pumps come equipped with a desuperheater, which captures waste heat from the building in summer and transfers it to the water storage tank for free hot water. In the winter, the heat pump will transfer some of the underground heat to the water storage tank. Water heating costs can be reduced up to 60%! The desuperheater consists of a refrigerant-to-water heat exchanger, where the cool water draws heat from the refrigerant and circulates back and forth from the water storage tank.
Safe & Environmentally Friendly
No natural gas, propane, or oil is used to operate a geothermal heat pump, which means no fossil fuel exhaust or greenhouse gases are being emitted into the atmosphere.
Quiet & Reliable
The outdoor components, namely high density polyethylene (HDPE) geothermal fittings and piping, are all buried underground. There are no noisy and unattractive outdoor units, and there is no condensation build-up on window AC units. Additionally, fewer moving parts means fewer potential problems and greater reliability.
For every unit of energy required to drive the system, 3-5 units of energy are delivered to heat the building, significantly more efficient than conventional heating systems.
Geothermal heat pumps can operate effectively and efficiently anywhere in North America, no matter how big or small the project, for new construction or retrofit, commercial or residential. Geothermal heat pumps come in different sizes and can be installed in different configurations, depending on local soil conditions, available space, and public regulations. Applications include homes, offices, schools, hospitals, government buildings, military bases, retail centers, malls, and sports arenas.
Local Job Creation
Proper installation of geothermal equipment requires the work of local dealers, contractors, and installers.