Geothermal heating and cooling is a revolutionary alternative to conventional furnaces and central air-conditioning systems. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy, if you’re looking for an extremely energy efficient and clean way in which to heat and cool your home, for a significantly reduced cost compared to traditional HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems, then a geothermal system is the way to go.
Geothermal systems work by using the constant warmth below the earth’s surface where the temperature is a constant 55 degrees. During winter, the system circulates a liquid through a series of underground pipes. The earth’s constant temperature warms the liquid, which the system then brings back to the surface, where the system then extracts the heat and uses it for your home. During the summer, the system reverses this process. It transfers your home’s heat to the liquid, which circulates through the underground pipes again. However, the heat is extracted, thereby cooling it.
The initial cost of geothermal systems is higher than that of conventional systems, but when properly sized, they deliver more energy per energy dollar that you spend. And you’ll likely experience a payback of your initial costs through your energy savings within seven to 10 years. Currently, there is a federal tax credit for as much as 30 percent of your costs, with no upper limit, for installation of a geothermal heat pump. This federal tax credit expires at the end of 2016.
Geothermal systems will reduce your energy consumption, on average, by 30 to 70 percent during the heating season, and 20 to 50 percent during the cooling season, as compared to a conventional system. The long-term savings are attractive, too, since there is less equipment to maintain.
In addition to cost savings, geothermal systems have environmental benefits:
- No fuel is burned. The only power required is the electricity that the heat pump uses, so there is no combustion that produces harmful emissions.
- Since geothermal systems don’t use fuel (the energy source is 100 percent renewable, thanks to the sun and earth’s energy), it reduces dependence on foreign oil by 2.15 million barrels per year for every 10,000 homes that use it.
- Compared to the standard methods of heating and cooling, geothermal systems have 75 percent higher efficiency.
If you would like to learn more about geothermal heating and cooling systems, contact the professionals at Paschal Heat, Air, Geothermal & Generators. We’ve proudly served homeowners in Northwest Arkansas and the surrounding communities 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.