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 square feet home can be heated and cooled for about $1 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 to 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 and 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
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.
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.
A geothermal system is more than 3 times as efficient as the most efficient conventional system. Because geothermal systems do not burn combustible fuel to make heat, they provide 3 to 4 units of energy for every 1 unit used to power the system.
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.
Throughout the year, outdoor temperatures fluctuate with the changing seasons. However, underground temperatures do not. In fact, about four to 6 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.