Geothermal systems offer some of the best energy efficiency for heating and cooling your home, as well as being durable and easy to maintain over their long lives. Besides offering some of the lowest costs for heating and cooling your home, the federal government offers a tax credit for up to 30 percent of the purchase and installation cost of these systems through 2016. Instead of using fuel, the systems capture the stable temperatures underground to create heated or cooled air for your home.
The Department of Energy estimates that energy savings with geothermal systems range from 30 to 60 percent from other kinds of HVAC equipment, although these systems cost more to install. The heating and cooling coils in geothermal heat pumps are buried underground, which contributes to the higher cost of these systems. However, these underground coils last from 25 to 50 years and the indoor air handler or blower, depending on annual maintenance, can last 10 to 20 years.
Planning for these systems involves working with a qualified HVAC contractor who evaluates your property to see which kind works best for you. If you have access to a pond, lake or groundwater table, you can install an open-loop system that uses the stable temperatures of water for heating and cooling.
A closed-loop system is the choice of homeowners when access to water is limited. These can be vertical or horizontal systems. A horizontal system involves digging four to six feet down and running the coils horizontally. Vertical systems are good for lots that are small or in cases when owners don’t want existing landscaping disturbed. These pipes involve digging deeper over a smaller space.
The output of geothermal systems feels just like heated and cooled air from an air-source heat pump. In the summer, the system removes the heat and humidity from your home and in the winter, it harvests the heat from the underground media.
Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal can guide you through choosing a geothermal system for your home. Contact us to learn more. We’ve been serving northwest Arkansas for more than 40 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about geothermal systems and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.