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The Ins and Outs of Geothermal Heating and Cooling

When it comes to energy efficient options for heating and cooling, solar or wind power may come to mind first.  In reality, though, one of the most promising options for the future is geothermal heating/cooling.  We help install underground systems that can help regulate temperatures inside your home year-round, at a fraction of the cost.  Some people see their month utility bills reduced by up to 70 percent!  Read on to find out how this new technology works and whether or not this type of system is right for you.

How does it work?

Although the technology is new, the idea behind it is age-old.  By going far enough underground, temperatures stabilize 50 degrees Fahrenheit, regardless of what’s going on above the surface.  So, experts discovered that when you install a system of liquid-filled pipes at this depth, you save drastically in energy costs.  With more traditional methods, you pay more in the winter because you’re trying to heat up cold air, and vice versa in the summer.  If the air (or liquid in this case) never waivers toward either extreme, you don’t have to spend as much to increase or decrease the temperature.

Basically, this system functions as a long series of looping pipes filled with refrigerant that moves heat from one end to the other with the help of a compressor, condenser, expansion valve, and evaporator.  You can easily transition from summer to winter with this type of heating/cooling system—the direction of the flow will just reverse.  It’s also possible to connect this to a hot water heater, which will further save on your home energy usage.

What are the pros and cons?

Apart from saving you a lot of your energy bills, it’s also a quiet, long-lasting system that typically requires little maintenance.  Added to that, it’s a better alternative for the environment!  You might even qualify for additional tax credits just because you installed an energy efficient heating and cooling system.  These rapid recuperations help to offset the additional costs that usually come with installation.

Depending on the size of your home, it could cost substantially more to outfit a geothermal system, which could be a budgeting issue for some.  Additionally, since it’s an underground system, you have to have a certain amount of space available on your property to fit the piping.  The acreage and terrain can present problems, or rule out this option entirely.

If this is an option you’re seriously considering, please contact us!  Our owner can come out to go over what makes the most sense for your property and outline a reasonable budget.  While he’s there, you can discuss other green alternatives to incorporate into your home.