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The Benefits of a Geothermal HVAC System
January 12, 2015
Geothermal HVAC systems have been around long enough to earn their place on the market, as well as in thousands of homes throughout the world. There are reasons why both homeowners and commercial property owners choose geothermal systems in Maryland despite the initially high price tag. If you are considering installing such a system, read on to find out what you should expect when you switch to geothermal energy.
How does a geothermal system work?
The word “geothermal” sounds scientific and complicated, but the concept of geothermal HVAC is actually really simple. A geothermal system uses the energy of the Earth to heat or cool your home.
Here is how it works:
- At a certain depth (around 4-6 feet and lower), the ground maintains the constant temperature throughout the year (between 45F and 65F). In winter it’s warmer than the surface and in summer it’s much cooler.
- Pipes are buried at this specific depth and filled with water, so when the water passes through them, it either heats up or cools down, depending on the time of the year.
- A heat pump is then used to extract the energy from the water and produce either cool or hot air.
- Water that got its energy absorbed into the system through the heat pump returns under the ground and repeats the cycle.
There are different types of geothermal systems depending on how they are installed and what kind of piping they are using. An experienced Maryland HVAC contractor will be able to tell you which one will make the most sense for your home.
Why Geothermal is Better
It does twice the work.
That’s right, you don’t need separate units anymore—your geothermal system can both cool and heat your home. This also means fewer appliances to maintain and less wear from the elements since all equipment is located inside your house.
There is no fuel being burnt in a geothermal system, so it’s eco-friendlier than your traditional gas furnace and air compressor combination.
It saves you money.
It’s possible to cut your energy bill in half with a geothermal system, because it uses 25% to 50% less energy than your conventional HVAC setup. The heat pump still needs electricity to operate, but the energy used to heat or cool the air is free and entirely renewable.
It can provide hot water too.
Some geothermal systems can also be set up to produce hot water and supplement the efforts of your water heater.
It heats the space faster.
Water is able to transfer more heat than air, which means with a geothermal system you get hotter air out of your vents, leading to faster heating.
Government Incentive Programs
Do all these benefits sound too good to be true? Well, they aren’t, but you have to pay a high installation cost in order to enjoy them. You can expect this cost to be recouped in three to five years, but until then, a geothermal system installation is still a big expense. Thankfully, there are various federal and local incentive programs that can help you pay for the initial investment:
- Maryland Residential Clean Energy Grant Program offers qualified homeowners $3,000 for converting an old HVAC system into a geothermal one.
- The federal government offers a renewable energy tax credit that includes a 30% rebate on the purchase and installation of a geothermal heat pump.
- Maryland’s Be SMART Home Program offers up to $25,000 in financing to qualified homeowners to be used for certain energy efficiency improvements, including geothermal heat pumps.
If you have more questions about geothermal systems or want to get a cost estimate, give Cool Breeze a call at 1-866-503-4888.
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