Geothermal heating and cooling continues to gain momentum amid concerns over the sky-rocking cost of fossil fuels and energy conservation. It uses proven technology that is reliable and safe with over a million systems installed across the United States. It significantly reduces energy usage and utility bills for homeowners and business. Geothermal systems operate by using the relatively constant temperatures of the earth found 4 to 6 feet below the ground surface.
A geothermal system has three main parts consisting of the geothermal unit, the underground piping system sometimes called the earth loop or loop field and the distribution system, either a forced air duct system or tubing for radiant floor heating. In winter the fluid-filled loop flied absorbs stored heat and carries it indoors. The indoor unit compresses the heat to a higher temperature and distributes it throughout the building. In the summer, the system reverses, pulling heat from the building, carrying it through the earth loop and depositing it into the cooler earth.
A geothermal system is over 5 times more efficient in heating and twice as efficient in cooling as the most efficient ordinary system. Because geothermal systems move existing heat rather than creating it through combustion, they provide four to five units of energy for every one unit used to power the system. All heating and cooling systems have a rated efficiency from a U.S. government agency. Fossil fuel furnaces use AFUE. Air conditioners use SEER while heat pumps use HSPF or SEER.
Geothermal heat pumps rate heating efficiencies according to their coefficient of performance or COP. It’s a scientific way of determining how much energy the system produces versus how much it uses. Most geothermal heat pump systems have a COPs of 3-5 or higher. That means for every dollar of energy used to power the system, $3.00 to $5.00 of energy are supplied as heat. Where a fossil fuel furnace may be 80 – 98% efficient, a geothermal heat pump is over 500% efficient. For cooling, geothermal units are rated by Energy Efficiency Ratio or EER, the higher the EER the more efficient the unit. Some geothermal systems have an EER as high as 41.
The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy call geothermal systems “the most cost-effective, energy efficient and environmentally friendly method” of heating and cooling your home available today and are eligible for a 30% Federal Tax Credit. Call Sunworks today to find out if a geothermal system can work for your home or business.