If you’re a home owner, you probably have a basic understanding of how your heating system works. Most people know whether their home is heated by natural gas or oil, and how that heat is transmitted; either through radiators, vents, or electric baseboards. In recent years as consumers have become more aware of growing environmental concerns like fossil fuel dependence, many home owners have begun exploring ways to make their homes more earth-friendly and energy efficient. As a result, geothermal heating and cooling systems are becoming a popular alternative to traditional systems. Here’s what you need to know about upgrading to geothermal.
How Does it Work?
Geothermal systems operate differently than traditional systems that rely on fossil fuels to heat and cool your home. These cutting edge systems actually use the earth itself to help control your home’s climate. You may not realize it, but the earth absorbs a considerable amount of solar energy. As a result, the temperature below the ground’s surface remains consistent for the majority of the year, even in harsh climates where freezing weather is common.
The process of installing a geothermal system involves running an underground piping network around your home, 4-6 feet below the earth’s surface, and setting up a heat pump. Water is then circulated through the underground pipes and the pump system, absorbing the moderate temperature from the ground as it travels through the system. Warm or cool air is then delivered to your home through the geothermal heat pump. Geothermal systems typically require a minimal amount of electricity to operate.
What are the Benefits?
There are many benefits that come along with installing a geothermal system for your home. Geothermal systems are more energy efficient and environmentally friendly than traditional heating and cooling units. They also help reduce fossil fuel dependency, making them a smart choice for eco-conscious families interested in minimizing their carbon footprint.
There are also significant cost savings benefits associated with upgrading to geothermal. You’ve probably noticed how your utility bills spike at certain times of year. This is partially because many traditional systems aren’t as efficient as they could be. Many forced air systems have duct work that runs through the attic, which is often the hottest or coldest part of the home. As a result, significant heat and cooling loss can occur as air travels through the network. Geothermal systems are much more efficient than your typical oil or natural gas heating units because the pipes are insulated by the ground. Home owners who install these high efficiency systems report an average savings of 80% a year on their heating, cooling, and hot water bills.
In addition to the cost savings, the federal government is also currently offering rebate programs for home owners who choose to upgrade their traditional systems to energy efficient geothermal systems. This helps to offset the cost of installation, making these systems much more affordable for home owners.
Whether you’re interested in reducing your carbon footprint or cutting your utility costs, geothermal systems can help you accomplish your goals. Consider changing over your existing heating system to help protect the environment and save money.