GeoThermal Heating and Cooling From Below The Earth
Geothermal systems are “the most energy-efficient, environmentally clean, and cost effective space conditioning systems available today,” according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
That's because a geothermal system taps into the earth to capture free, renewable energy. The earth absorbs about 47% of the sun's energy that reaches it, storing that energy in the ground.
A geothermal system extracts that free energy for heating during winter. For cooling, the system removes heat from the home and dumps it into the cooler earth. This transfer of heat energy is done through a series of pipes buried in the ground, or sunk in a pond, or by using well water. Because a geothermal system simply moves heat instead of burning a fossil fuel to generate it, it's more energy-efficient.
Geothermal systems use the free, renewable energy from the earth, so the technology is one that can have a positive effect on your carbon footprint. In fact, according to some sources, installing a geothermal system instead of an ordinary system is the environmental equivalent (in emission reduction) of taking two cars off the road or planting an acre of trees.
Because of improved electrical energy efficiency, geothermal systems reduce the need to build additional costly, fuel burning power plants. Additionally, geothermal units produce no on-site emissions.
There are over one million geothermal installations today, resulting in the avoidance of more than 5.8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide and more than 1.6 million metric tons of carbon equivalent annually.
In addition, existing geothermal installations are the environmental equivalent (in emission reduction) of taking 1.2 million cars off the road, or planting more than 385 million trees.
One of the main reasons many homeowners choose geothermal is the benefit of lower operating costs.
In most homes, the cost for heating, cooling and hot water combine for about 70% of the total utility costs. The biggest opportunity to save a substantial amount in utility costs is to improve those systems.
That's where geothermal can help in a big way. For every one unit of energy purchased to operate a geothermal unit, it delivers four to five units of energy because the energy from the earth is free.
Geothermal systems can save up to 70% in heating costs,
up to 50% in cooling costs, and 30-50% in hot water costs.
Q: Can a geothermal unit be combined with a gas or propane furnace?
A: Yes. Some homeowners like the benefits of both technologies. In this case, a geothermal "split" unit (compressor only) is connected to a furnace and cooling coil. The geothermal unit will perform all the cooling and some of the heating. During the coldest days, the system switches over to furnace operation to provide the warmest air temperatures and maximum capacity.
The most cost effective "balance point" can be predetermined by the dealer to maximize efficiency and comfort. This type of dual fuel/"hybrid heat" system may be a good choice for a replacement installation or a new home.
Q: Are geothermal systems more expensive to install, and how long does it take for the extra expense to pay for itself?
A: Geothermal systems are generally more expensive to install than ordinary systems. For replacement installations, the added cost is usually recovered in a few years. In a new home where the added cost of the system is included in the mortgage, the monthly energy savings may be greater than the added cost, providing the homeowner with a positive cash flow from day one.
Because every situation is unique, ask your R.E. Robertson consultant to show you the financial benefits and options of a geothermal system. Call 410-757-0023.
It might just be the best investment you can make.
Geothermal systems provide homeowners with a wide range of benefits.
Savings: Generally, no other heating and cooling system offers lower operating costs, with savings up to 60% compared to ordinary systems.
Comfort: These systems provide even temperatures throughout the home year round, with excellent dehumidification during cooling.
Environmental Soundness: Geothermal is a clean, green, and renewable technology to reduce your carbon footprint now and for future generations.
Reliability: Geothermal units last longer than ordinary air conditioners and heat pumps. Since the units contain few moving parts, they operate for years with little maintenance.
Quiet Operation: Unlike ordinary air conditioners and heat pumps, no outdoor unit is required. Bryant geothermal units use heavy-duty, fully-insulated cabinets for quiet operation. Quiet, soft starting variable speed blowers are used in many models.
Flexibility: Heating, cooling and supplemental water heating from a single unit. And a wide variety of models and options to fit most any application.
Free Hot Water: During unit operation, free excess heat is used to supplement the home's water heater.
Energy Independence: Geothermal systems reduce our need to import fuel.
Safe and Clean: No flame, no flue, no odors.