Geothermal heating and cooling systems are highly efficient, environmentally friendly, and cost little to operate. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, this type of HVAC system is the best for the environment. Geothermal energy, located underground, is available everywhere, and geothermal heating and cooling systems have been found to be more efficient than conventional heating and cooling systems, and cost less to operate each season.
While you may not be familiar with these systems, modern geothermal heating and cooling has been in use for decades. Actual savings varies based on climate and the type of HVAC system you’re switching from. Installing a geothermal system may qualify you to receive incentives from federal, state, and local sources, further reducing your costs.
A geothermal system uses constant below-ground temperatures as an energy source to heat and cool your home. The geothermal system exchanges heat with the earth to provide comfortable, consistent temperatures in your home. Using this natural energy medium, geothermal systems can offer efficiencies of up to 600 percent!
A geothermal heating and cooling system is comprised of two main components: the geothermal heat pump and the ground loop. These components work together to extract heat from below ground and move it into your living space in the winter and to deposit excess heat back into the earth in the summer to provide cooling. Geothermal systems can also be set up to provide the home with hot water. Options such as variable fans and two-speed compressors can create even more energy savings for a homeowner. This equipment offers quiet operation and extended service life while requiring very little maintenance.
Installing a geothermal system is more expensive than installing an air-source heat pump or other conventional heating and cooling equipment. Don’t let the installation costs turn you off — geothermal systems offer quick returns, with payback periods between 5 and 10 years. The heat pump component has an estimated service life of 25 years (50 years for the ground loop), allowing you to save for years to come.