How Much Money Does Geothermal Save You On Energy Costs?
Most homeowners in Louisville have questions about geothermal heating and air conditioning. Plenty of people wonder if this type of heating and cooling works, and what the benefits include. Luckily, Jarboe’s Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling knows everything you need about these HVAC miracle workers.
Learn if the geothermal way is right for you and your family with the information provided in this blog post. But first, we must explain the ins and outs of this modern heating and cooling system. From there, we discuss how this new system works to save you money in the long run. Plus, you use less energy too—it really is a win-win!
What Is Geothermal Heating and Air Conditioning?
Because geothermal HVAC is still growing in popularity, not many people even know what it entails or how it works. Though, a lot of homes in the area already have the geothermal system— you just don’t know it! Fortunately, the influx of interest in renewable energy sources brings geothermal systems to homeowners’ attention.
At its most basic, geothermal heaters and air conditioners use heat transfer to control the temperature in your home. Here are some of the specifics.
A significant portion of the hardware in geothermal heating and cooling resides under your lawn. In the ground, temperatures stay at a constant 55 degrees, which forms the basis of this technology. The soil acts as a natural heat exchanger. The ground loop, a network of piping, is buried underground and a water-refrigerate solution travels through it. This solution—used in the closed-loop system only— performs energy transfer between the ground and your home.
During the summer, heat pumps through the coils and transfers to the ground. The solution then cools your home because the ground absorbed the heat it carried. In the winter, the process reverses to warm your home. The heat transfer continuously takes place and it always works in your favor.
Where Geothermal Heating and Air Conditioning Systems Go
Now that you know what geothermal does, you should understand where they go. Yes, they go underground, but some areas are not suitable for geothermal heating and air conditioning. Here are the things to consider when placing your geothermal system.
- Geological factors. Firstly, think about all of the geological factors around your home. Are some areas rockier than others? Do you know what kind of soil you have? Both of these impact the placement of ground loops. Some soil has better heat transfer and fair well with a geothermal system. Shallow soil also needs special attention. Vertical loops are used in that case instead of the traditional horizontal loops.
- Ground water and surface water both contribute to the functionality of a geothermal system. For closed-loop systems, water in the ground isn’t a necessity. On the other hand, in open-loop systems ground water serves as a reliable source as long as the ground water discharge regulations are met. The differences between closed- and open-loop systems will be discussed below.
- Available land. The amount of land at your disposal also impacts geothermal system placement. Most systems are horizontal ground loops, which are the more economical of the two options. However, vertical installations are used for existing buildings because they are more compact and keep landscape disturbances to a minimum. Additionally, larger properties tend to have horizontal systems because there is more room for the pipes.
What Are the Benefits of Geothermal Heating and Air Conditioning?
The benefits of geothermal heating and air conditioning range in helpfulness, but they all provide significant pros over other types of HVAC systems. Though the positives seem hard to pin down if your new to geothermal systems, your opinion will quickly change after you understand the ins and outs of the geothermal system’s benefits.
- Saves money. First and foremost, this systems saves you a ton of money in the long run. One of the biggest benefits of a geothermal heating and air conditioning has to be the money it saves over time. Though the initial cost to install the system seems daunting, the overall money you save makes a huge difference in your electric bills.
- Energy efficient. Along with the money you save, geothermal systems also use far less energy. Because they utilize the ground temperature to control its heating and cooling, it does not use nearly as much electricity to perform its temperature control.
- Cools and heats. Unlike other HVAC systems, geothermal systems heat and cool from the same system. That means that you only need one system to do the work of two. In the summer, it cools your home. In the winter, it heats it. Of course, this means you save money on one system instead of two.
- Always going. Unlike other green options, the geothermal system constantly receives energy from the ground temperature. Wind- or solar-powered systems are weather dependent, which means they only work their best when their environmental needs are met.
- Long-lasting. Because they are buried underground, geothermal systems last much longer than other HVAC options. Many geothermal heating and air conditioning systems can last up to 50 years. The heat pumps themselves also last close to 25 years. Sounds like a good investment to us!
- Low maintenance. Another perk of the system being underground is that it requires very little maintenance. The soil protects it from most damage. However, in an open-loop system, debris gathers in the pipes, so some maintenance is necessary for the system to function like it should. In the closed-loop system, this issues doesn’t occur.
- You may think that because the entire system sits under your home that it makes a significant amount of noise. That isn’t the case! The system makes virtually no noise. You experience the perfect temperature at no cost to your other comforts.
- Simultaneous jobs. With the geothermal system, your house benefits from the temperature control—but so do your pools. Geothermal heating works on multiple areas at once, so your pool always stays at a comfortable temperature. Even if you don’t have a pool, the geothermal system heats any other structure above the pipes.
Types of Geothermal Heating and Air Conditioning Systems
Because the geothermal system is so complex, it must be installed by a professional. Of course, this means that no attempts by the homeowner should be made. However, it’s good for homeowners to know which system would be best for your home.
- Closed-loop. The closed-loop system makes up the majority of geothermal heating and air conditioning systems. In these types, the pipes are laid horizontally around 4 to 6 feet deep or vertically reaching up to 400 feet. They are filled with a green refrigerant and water solution that transfers heat from the home to the ground. In winter, that fluid removes heat from the ground and puts it in your home.
- Open-loop. In an open-loop system, the pipe buried in the ground uses nearby groundwater for its heat exchange rather than the refrigerant and water solution used in the closed-loop. In this type, the water doesn’t circulate back through the system either. It is directed into drainage after it’s done being useful. Also, because the system is open, debris can collect in the pipes.
The type of system you choose depends mostly on your location. Places with an excessive amount of groundwater benefits more from the open-loop system, but places that are relatively dry work best with closed-loop. It all depends on where you live. Remember, most homes that already have geothermal heating and air conditioning are closed-loop.
The Costs of Geothermal Heating and Air Conditioning
For such a sophisticated piece of equipment, the cost matches the quality. Still, that doesn’t make the price tag any easier to swallow if you want to invest in this energy efficient HVAC system. The sticker price ranges from $20,000 to $25,000 and up. However, this system reduces utility bills up to 60%—those savings are nothing to sneeze at!
Luckily, those installing geothermal systems know almost nobody has that much money upfront, so there are plenty of payment options available. Plus, the fact that these systems can last up to 50 years makes up for the 2 to 10 years you pay off the installation.
Lastly, renewable energy systems increase the value of your home and offers an opportunity for tax rebates. Renewable energy systems provide you, your home, and the planet with incredible benefits. It’s hard to say no to such universal pros.
Contact Us About Geothermal Heating and Air Conditioning
Now that you know everything and anything about geothermal heating and air conditioning systems, you can confidently make the decision to go green with geothermal. If you are looking for a reliable, long-lasting HVAC system that uses renewable energy and saves you up to 60% in utilities, then the geothermal system is right for you. With the help of consistent ground temperatures, your home stays comfortable all year round.
Jarboe’s Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling wants to help citizens of Louisville, Kentucky with the decision as much as we can. Because of that, our experienced HVAC specialists are ready to give you any advice you need about geothermal systems. Whether you already have one, or if you are ready to upgrade, Jarboe’s Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling has you covered. Visit our website for more information on HVAC systems and call today for a free estimate on your service! We hope to hear from you soon!