1. How does a geothermal system work?
Throughout the year, outdoor temperatures fluctuate with the changing seasons. However, underground temperatures do not. In fact, about four to six feet below the earth's surface, temperatures remain relatively constant year-round. A geothermal system, which consists of an indoor unit and a buried earth loop, capitalizes on these constant temperatures.
In the winter, fluid circulating through the system's earth loop absorbs stored heat and carries it indoors. The indoor unit compresses the heat to a higher temperature and distributes it throughout the building. In the summer, the system reverses, pulling heat from the building, carrying through the earth loop and depositing it in the cooler earth.
2. What makes a geothermal system different from conventional systems?
A geothermal system utilizes the energy from the sun, which is stored in the earth, to heat and cool homes and buildings. Typically, electric power is used only to operate the unit's fan, compressor and pump. So, unlike conventional systems, geothermal systems do not burn fossil fuel to generate heat--they simply transfer heat to and from the earth.
3. How efficient is a geothermal system?
A geothermal system is more than three times as efficient as the most efficient conventional system. Because geothermal systems do not burn combustible fuel to make heat, they provide three to four units of energy for every one unit used to power the system.
4. What does geothermal mean to the environment?
Because geothermal systems work with nature, not against it, they minimize the threats of acid rain, air pollution and the greenhouse effect. An environmentally friendly fluid is used in the closed, continuous loop.
5. Do geothermal systems require much maintenance?
No. In fact, geothermal systems are practically maintenance free. When installed properly, the buried loop will last for generations. And the other half of the operation--the unit's fan, compressor and pump--is housed indoors, protected from the harsh weather conditions. Usually, periodic checks and filter changes are the only required maintenance.
6. How much money can I save with a Geothermal System in my home?
In a technology defined by numbers, here's a fact that everyone will understand: With a geothermal system, (also known as geo-exchange systems) a reasonably tight 2,000 sq. ft. home can be heated and cooled for about $1.00 a day. You'll pay several thousand more up front, but in many cases, the payback can come in as little as 5 to 7 years. And once the system is paid off, the annual return on investment can approach 15-20%. Add impressive durability and less-intrusive trenching methods and the scales begin to tip, at least in the new home market. But, Geothermal systems can also be installed in existing homes as well. It will also increase the value of your home. Many people comment on how "clean" geothermal heat & cooling is for their home. There is virtually no dust since fossil fuels are not involved. It is much healthier for you and the environment.
Grant Programs are available for NON-PROFIT Organizations. If qualified, you may receive up to 33% of the cost of a new Geothermal installation. For details, click the Geo Alliance logo below...
Area Geothermal Dealers & Installers include:
MT. VERNON, Illinois....Holloway Heating & Cooling (618) 242-5481
FAIRFIELD/FLORA, Illinois.....Electro Electric (618) 662-4520
FAIRFIELD, Illinois....Hayes Plumbing & Heating (618) 847-3121
CLAY CITY, Illinois...Dan's Electric Shop (618) 676-1516
ALBION, Illinois.....Complete HVAC (618) 445-3329
MT CARMEL, Illinois...Sharp & Willams (618) 263-3231
CARMI, Illinois.....Stein Plumbing & Heating (618) 384-8009
ALTAMONT, Illinois....R & H Plumbing & Heating 1-800-867-1858
ALBERS, Illinois.....Toennies Service Company (618) 248-5130
McLEANSBORO, Illinois....Nelson Electric (618) 643-2752
EFFINGHAM, Illinois....KCH Mechanical (217) 347-5755
Example of a large Industrial/Business Geothermal System