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Geothermal Heating and Cooling - A Sustainable Way to Save Energy

Geothermal Heating and Cooling - A Sustainable Way to Save Energy

Find Out Where YOUR Home is Losing Energy:

Schedule An Energy Audit

With the cost of fossil fuels on the rise (which in turn increases the cost of electricity) and concern about the environmental impacts of our energy consumption, more people are looking into the practical and economic benefits of geothermal heat pumps for home heating and cooling. A geothermal heat pump system can be used as a heating system AND an air conditioning system, simply by running the system in reverse.

Huge Energy Savings

Using a geothermal heat pump system, you can save 50%-70% of the energy you use to heat your home. And you can save up to 40% on cooling costs, and 25% on water heating costs. With a geothermal heat pump system, there's no need for a separate air conditioning unit. For both heating and cooling, the temperature in your home is controlled with an electronic thermostat, the same as a traditional system.

Environmentally Sustainable

Geothermal heating and cooling is an environmentally sustainable method of regulating the temperature in your home all year round, as well as providing hot water. It uses the renewable energy within the earth to provide heating and cooling without harmful greenhouse emissions or other pollutants. Geothermal heat pump systems are among the most efficient and environmentally friendly energy systems available.

How Geothermal Heating and Cooling Works

With geothermal heat pump systems, the focus is on "transferring heat" as opposed to "producing heat" like traditional furnaces or boilers do. Geothermal heating uses the heat that resides within the earth (and sometimes masses of water), since underground temperatures remain relatively constant, between 45 degrees to 75 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year, as little as six feet down.

3 Main Components

There are three main components to a geothermal heating pump system - the ground loop, the heat pump furnace unit, and the heat distribution system. The ground loop is a series of high-density polyethylene pipes that's buried in your yard or placed in a pond or lake. A heat transferring liquid (a mixture of water and anti-freeze) runs through the pipes collecting heat from the ground and returns to the heat pump furnace unit where heat is extracted and distributed to the home via the distribution system (forced air or radiant hydronic heating).

In some cases an "open ground loop" is used, which uses ground water as the heat transferring liquid. Instead of a ground loop, a supply well supplies ground water to the heat pump furnace unit and a discharge well returns the water to the ground.

Cooling in Summer

In the warmer months, the system works in reverse. The heat is transferred from the air in your home to the transfer fluid, and returned to the earth via the ground loop. This generally works only with forced air distribution systems, where the system's air coil takes the place of a traditional air conditioning system's evaporator.

Installing a Geothermal Heat Pump System

Have a certified geothermal heating specialist assess the amount of energy that is needed to heat and cool your home. They will be able to recommend the type of system and the size you need for optimal functioning. Installing a geothermal heat pump system is easier for new homes or for rural homes where there is lots of land to install the ground loop. For existing homes, modifications may be needed for the distribution system, the electrical system or the plumbing. Your geothermal specialist will be able to assess the exact needs for your home.

Regardless of the type of geothermal system you choose, or which part of the country (or the world) you live in, with regular maintenance a geothermal heat pump system will provide an environmentally safe way to keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer - with significant energy savings compared to traditional methods.

Home Energy Efficiency Tips:

We were unaware of what was involved in an energy audit and your audior took the time to explain everything. We were impressed with the report which told us the areas in which we need to take action on. He never pressured us to use any particular contractors, he just suggested that we go to the Building Energy Pros web site to select contractors of our own choice. He did an excellent job and we HIGHLY recommend the Building Energy Pros. We already have recommended them to several of our neighbors. Again, EXCELLENT JOB!
Cynthia Simpson

The Building Energy Pros auditor was very knowledgeable. I was VERY HAPPY with him. He promptly E-mailed my energy audit report to me and I will consider all of his recommendations.
Tom McGee

We found out that our house really has no energy problems. We are happy to know that we
Leslie Stewart

I was very satisfied with your energy auditor. He was very qualified and spent a great deal of time with me. The energy audit was very informative.

The energy auditor was very good and helpful. He keeps in touch with me to answer any of my questions.

I was very satisfied with my energy audit. The auditor gave me some tips on attic insulation that were very helpful.

I was very satisfied with my energy audit. Thank you!

Very good service! I am going to replace the windows as the auditor had suggested.

I was very happy with the energy audit. THANKS!
A. M.

My energy audit was very helpful. Joe Dempsey, your auditor, identified some structural problems that I was not aware of and explained to me why I need more insulation.
J. F.

The auditor was EXCELLENT! He spent ALOT of time with me. I am going to take 3 to 4 of his suggestions and correct these small items to save on my energy bills.
M. B.

The auditor did a GREAT JOB! He knew a lot about older homes, which we have. The report was very comprehensive. Thank you!
Vicki Nez/at

Your energy auditor was very nice and helpful. He answered all of our questions. We will recommend Building Energy Pros to our friends and neighbors.
Katherine McCaffrey

The auditor did a TERRIFIC JOB! The report was FANTASTIC! I will make all the repairs he suggested. I will definitely recommend him to everyone I know that could benefit from a home energy audit.
Steve Sleigh, Chevy Chase

The energy auditor was very professional and I am very satisfied with both the energy audit and the report I received. I will be referring the Building Energy Pros.
Tim Clary

I was very satisfied with the auditor. He was great and gave me some very valuable information. I will refer him to people I know who may need a home energy audit.
Willie Gantt

Your home energy audit proved to be very informative and helpful. I was not aware of the updraft created inside our walls because of the balloon framing construction. You said that that can cause heat to be pulled out of the house with the draft going up inside the walls and should be re-mediated. You also said that the attic insulation was insufficient and that fiberglass batts can leave spaces for around the edges causing heat loss and that it should have blown in insulation on top of what was there to seal the whole attic and increase the r factor. After going over your findings and telling me how you would fix the problems you told me how I could do it myself with stuff from the Home Center and for a quarter of the cost. Well, I did. I went into the basement and filled the bottom of the wall joist with unfaced insulation where they set on the sill plate. I then cut one inch foam board the size for each space and set it in and the sealed the edges of that with expanding foam as well as the sill plate to the foundation. I also sealed the sill plate to the foundation where the joist ran along it, as well as the top of those joist where it made contact with the subflooring. Next I went to the home center and rented their blown insulation machine and got ten bales of the insulation. I filled the attic on top of the batt insulation with about six inches giving another r-19 factor on top of the r-19 that was there. You said that the blown in would also help seal the heat loss around the edges of the batt. The work in the basement cost $144.00 and the work in the attic cost $328.00. After the 30% federal energy tax credit it will end up costing me about $330.00, which you said I should recover in savings in the first year. Thank You for all your advice and expertise. You made me aware of things I should consider and did.
Tommy Thompson