Frequently Asked Geothermal QuestionsAs our population grows and the earth's resources are strained like never before, many people have questions about geothermal systems but are not sure about some very fundamental concerns. Hopefully, the following questions and answers can help you see the potential of geothermal heating & cooling.
How does geothermal work?
The basic principle is that a geothermal heat pump extracts heat from the earth during the winter and pipes warm air into your home. This processed is reversed during the summer. The heat pump pulls the heat from your house and pumps it into the earth. This process is similar to your refrigerator. If you reach behind it you will feel a lot of heat. This heat has been removed from inside the refrigerator and pumped to the outside air. The heart of a geothermal unit is the system of pipes buried underground to facilitate heat exchange.
Are there benefits to using geothermal energy?
Yes. Geothermal energy is clean. There is no need for fossil fuels - which reduces our dependence on foreign oil. It is also a renewable resource like solar or wind. Plus, it is a very cool conversation piece with neighbors and other visitors!
How long does a geothermal system last?
Geothermal heat pumps are very durable. Since the system does not have elaborate complicated parts and is based on a simple principle, your system should last many, many decades.
Would my geothermal system be loud?
Fortunately geothermal systems are very quiet unlike a standard HVAC system.
Will I save money using geothermal?
A big Yes! It is not uncommon to have heating bills cut by 20% - 50%.
However, you will need to remain in your home for several years to recoup the installation costs in annual savings. If you plan on moving soon, a geothermal unit probably does not make sense from an economic prospective. In general, it will take five to ten years to recoup the installation cost.
There is much more to a geothermal system but these answers should help you get started thinking about whether a system is right for you. The environment might just say "Thank You!"