Would it surprise you to learn that a geothermal heat pump system could cut your home’s energy bills by as much as 80 percent? Geothermal HVAC technology is relatively simple but highly effective, and those who choose to install a geothermal system to meet their heating and cooling needs seldom if ever come to regret that decision.
Perhaps because geothermal HVAC is still relatively unknown, a number of misconceptions have sprung up about its characteristics and effectiveness. We’d like to dispel these myths, which may be discouraging some from exploring this promising eco-friendly technology.
Myth #1: Geothermal heating and cooling systems are not really renewable because they still use electricity.
For every unit of energy it consumes a geothermal HVAC system creates the equivalent of five units of heating or cooling performance. With conventional technologies all of this work would require the burning of additional fossil fuels, but geothermal uses temperature differentials between surface and ground to make it happen naturally and renewably.
Myth #2: Solar and wind energy are far more efficient than geothermal.
For every extra kilowatt of power that solar and wind systems add to the electrical grid, geothermal systems reduce the grid’s load by four kilowatts (per dollar spent).
Myth #3: Geothermal piping systems require large expanses of outdoor space.
Underground polyethylene pipes used in geothermal systems can often be installed in the ground vertically, which cuts down on their horizontal spread significantly.
Myth #4: Geothermal systems inject refrigerant into the ground, which can cause groundwater contamination if it leaks.
The piping loops used in geothermal heat pump systems use water only, which continuously circulates and would present no danger if it ever leaked (which it seldom does).
Myth #5: Geothermal heat pumps are loud and annoying.
We honestly aren’t sure how this idea originated, but it is completely false. A properly functioning geothermal system is as quiet as a church mouse on a Sunday morning.
Myth #6: Geothermal equipment wears out in a few years’ time.
Underground pipe loops should last indefinitely, provided you don’t live in an earthquake hot spot. As for the compressor and air handler, they are installed indoors and if properly maintained should last for 15-20 years.
Myth #7: Geothermal HVAC technology is relatively feeble, so back-up heating and cooling equipment is always required.
Geothermal HVAC systems installed in extreme environments may be supplemented by back-up equipment, but in most climates this will not be necessary if the geothermal system purchased has been properly sized.
Myth #8: Without federal or local tax breaks geothermal is not cost-competitive.
It’s true, there are tax incentives available that can reduce the price of a geothermal heat pump system by 30 percent or more. But these exist because governments want to encourage energy-efficiency technology, not because geothermal is uncompetitive without them. Geothermal HVAC systems can cut your energy costs by up to four-fifths and that is what makes them a solid financial investment.
Cardinal Heating & A/C: Your Seattle Area Source for Geothermal HVAC Systems
It isn’t always easy to find HVAC contractors that sell and install geothermal heating and cooling systems.
But if you own a home in the greater Seattle area you are in luck. At Cardinal Heating & A/C we have extensive experience with geothermal, and if you’re interested in this groundbreaking (figuratively and literally) technology please contact us at your convenience and we can meet to discuss your options.
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