You might know a friend or family member who has one. Geothermal units are quickly gaining in popularity thanks to several advantages. Here’s a look at their appeal and why you might want to consider making this investment that will serve your family for years to come.
Geothermal units are known to be efficient. That’s because they use the ground beneath your house as a place to store and release energy using underground pipes that are filled with water or antifreeze. These pipes are attached to a geothermal heat pump that’s associated with both heating and cooling. In colder months, the pipes take heat from the ground and move it to the heat pump. The energy is ultimately distributed throughout your duct system.
Geothermal units save energy because instead of burning fuel for warmth, they take existing heat and move it around. This setup means they’re the most efficient heating and air conditioning units available to consumers today.
It’s true that geothermal units demand considerable upfront cost, but that investment can be recouped in both the short and long terms. You can expect to save 30-60% on heating bills and 20-50% on cooling costs when compared with a furnace or traditional HVAC unit. Another selling point: You don’t need to worry about purchasing fuel or storing it, as the fuel itself is the heat in and around your home. The lifespan is about 50 years and the unit requires only basic maintenance. This means you don’t have to worry about regular costs for repairs or replacement.
The biggest differentiator between other traditional HVAC units and geothermal units is that geothermal units have a low (or no) carbon footprint. That’s because the energy that’s distributed throughout the system from the heat in and around your home is renewable energy. You also can’t beat the fact that geothermal units are not associated with releasing carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, or greenhouse gases. The heat pump does require electricity, but it will be much less than a traditional unit would require.
We should also mention that the geothermal system uses minimal electricity, which adds up to meaningful savings over the course of a year. If you’re someone who’s concerned about helping the planet, making the switch to geothermal can help you walk the walk.
Despite the initial upfront costs, geothermal heating and cooling technology translates to lower operating costs. You can expect to see savings over time. Here’s why: A geothermal system boasts a 400 percent efficiency rating. That means it creates four units of energy for every unit of electrically produced energy. These systems simply transfer heat by drawing energy from the ground which results in most homeowners saving up to 70 percent on utility bills.
Most geothermal systems will end up paying for themselves in as little as three to five years. Even better, the amount of energy savings they produce can even exceed the cost of the initial investment.
When coupled with government tax credits, you could see a quicker return on your investment. Keeping this in mind can help you justify the associated costs of purchasing and installing the geothermal system.
Traditional HVAC systems usually have lifespans of 10 years to 15 years on average, with regular maintenance. Conversely, as geothermal heating and cooling systems are not located directly outside, they’re not prone to the normal weather-related wear and tear caused by the elements. The indoor portion consists of a fan, compressor, and pump and is typically longer lasting. The rest of the system, which is below ground, can last for several generations. Bonus: You don’t have to worry about an unsightly outdoor unit that can detract from your home’s curb appeal.
Another factor is the ground loop buried in your yard, which contains the geothermal pipes, usually comes with a 50-year warranty. And as mentioned before, these systems need little to no maintenance beyond the usual filter changes and yearly professional inspections.
Geothermal systems don’t require any outdoor condensing units, and the indoor parts are designed to minimize noise pollution. This means you won’t have to worry about the cooling or heating problems common with other systems.
Geothermal systems are safe and clean to operate. You can have peace of mind knowing you won’t have to worry about carbon monoxide poisoning or fires. Geothermal technology uses free, renewable energy from the earth instead of flammable fossil fuels. In short, you can feel more at ease knowing the entire system is safer than any other system on the market.
Homeowners can expect to derive comfort-related benefits from a geothermal system. For one, geothermal heat pumps offer ideal dehumidification and air purification, improving indoor air quality. Also, since geothermal systems don’t recycle air, residents can enjoy improved indoor air quality. This is especially important for people with allergies and respiratory conditions.
Ready Supply of Hot Water
This perk is one that might not be as obvious. Geothermal systems can produce a copious supply of hot water, and at higher efficiency rates than ordinary water heaters. It’s just a matter of installing a connection that allows the hot water to be stored in your home’s water heater.
So is a geothermal heating and cooling system right for your own home? Typically, homeowners who meet the following criteria are good candidates for this investment:
- Can afford the upfront costs and plan to stay in your house for at least four to seven years (new construction) or 10 to 12 years (retrofit) to fully realize the investment of the initial costs through energy/cost savings.
- Live on a large lot with a pond or a well. This would allow you to use a less expensive loop system.
- Are building a new house and can incorporate the upfront costs right into the mortgage. You’ll save on heating and cooling costs from the outset.
- Have an existing house with high energy bills. This most likely means you currently use propane, oil or electricity for heating and geothermal cooling.
Interested in learning more? Contact the team at JO Mory today at (800) 621-6679 to learn more about geothermal heating and cooling systems.