Geothermal Heating and Cooling – Is It Right for Your Home?

Heating and air conditioning rank among the biggest expenses for your home. So, whether you’re buying a new home, or looking to upgrade your present one, it’s helpful to learn about all the available options. Electrical, gas and even solar-powered HVAC systems are the most common, but have you considered the possibility of a geothermal unit?

What is it? How does it work?

The word geothermal is derived from the Greek words geo (earth) and therme (heat). Geothermal energy is power that is extracted from the earth’s internal heat.

A geothermal pump system consists of a heat pump, ductwork (an air delivery system), and a heat exchanger, which is a system of coils buried in the ground underneath your lawn. In winter, the heat pump pulls the heat from the heat exchanger and pumps it into the ductwork, thus heating your home. In the summer, this process is reversed, as the heat pump moves heat from the air indoors into the heat exchanger, thus cooling your home.

As a bonus, the heat removed from the air indoors in the summer can also be used to provide a free source of hot water. And because the top three metres of the Earth’s crust retain a constant temperature of 10° to 16°C, geothermal systems provide a continuous, sustainable source of renewable energy. Compare this to solar and wind power, which depend on variable seasonal, climatic and weather conditions.

How much does it cost?

Installation fees may initially appear to be expensive, compared to conventional furnace and air conditioning systems. Keep in mind, however, that geothermal ground loops can last up to 50 years, compared to conventional furnaces which need to be replaced every 15 to 20 years, and air conditioners, which fail every 10 to 15 years. Geothermal heating and cooling units require very little maintenance compared to conventional HVAC systems, which require frequent maintenance.

Remember that your heat source is the underground heat in your backyard, which comes to you at no cost. Compare this to what you would pay for gas or propane. Over time, your geothermal heating and cooling system will pay for itself and prove to be a major money saver. Plus, it will add value to your home’s equity. Check with your local government, as some rebates or tax credits may be available for geothermal retrofits.

But is a geothermal heating and cooling system right for me?

Geothermal systems may not be right for every situation. Before you decide, review the major pros and cons.

PROS

  • Long lifespan and little maintenance.
    Aesthetic value: no obtrusive HVAC equipment in your yard.
  • Quiet operation.
  • Renewable and environmentally friendly; reduces your carbon footprint and requires no fossil fuels.
  • Safety: doesn’t produce carbon monoxide as a by-product.
  • Effective in almost all climates and weather conditions (compared to solar panels and wind turbines which are subject to the vagaries of the weather).
  • Economical: Saves money in the long term and not subject to price fluctuations of fossil fuels.

CONS

  • Higher upfront installation fees vs. conventional systems.
  • Requires qualified designers and technicians for installation. Not for the do-it-yourselfer!
  • One size does NOT fit all. Geothermal units may not be suitable for homes with limited space for drilling.
  • Initial installation will disturb your landscaping.
  • Requires electricity to power the heat pump (consider using solar or wind energy to save on electricity).
  • Not carbon neutral, as it still requires electricity to function.


Will you harness the power that lies just beneath your feet? Now you’re ready to make an informed choice.

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© Next Day Home Services Inc. 2020Privacy PolicyTELEPHONE: 604.897.3411ADDRESS: 19486 60 Ave #101, Surrey, BC V3S 3S7

© Next Day Home Services Inc. 2020Privacy PolicyTELEPHONE: 604.897.3411ADDRESS: 19486 60 Ave #101, Surrey, BC V3S 3S7