Geothermal Systems

6 Common Questions About Geothermal HVAC Systems in Summerville, SC

October 25, 2020

Geothermal HVAC systems use innovative technology to derive heat from and transfer heat into the Earth as needed to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. Common questions we’re asked by residents in Summerville, SC, pertain to efficiency, cost and their options. Read on to learn more about geothermal systems.

Is It Expensive to Install a Geothermal System?

Geothermal heat pumps are a little more expensive to install than fuel source heating and cooling systems. How much a geothermal system costs depends on what type of system it is, how large your home is, the type of soil on your property and the specific model chosen.

If you have a water source like a pond or a well close to your house, you can potentially have your geothermal system set up as a water source system rather than a ground source. Water-source geothermal heat pumps are sometimes less expensive to install.

Horizontal loops are also commonly less expensive than vertical loops. In Summerville, SC, you can choose either horizontal or vertical loops. However, people who live in the northern states can only use vertical loops due to the colder climate.

What Type of Loop Do You Need?

If your property is small, you need vertical loops. In order to install horizontal loops, we need at least 414 feet of land space. Depending on the situation, we may need as much as 880 feet.

Installation of horizontal loops may affect your landscaping. Vertical loops are better for you if this is a concern.

If you choose a water-source geothermal system, you’ll need pond/water or open loops. We install pond loops approximately 8 feet down in the water. Open loops use surface body water or well water to draw heat and cold for the HVAC system.

How Efficient is a Geothermal System?

A geothermal system’s energy efficiency is part of its appeal. Geothermal systems are 20–50% more energy-efficient than traditional air-source systems.

A geothermal heat pump multiplies the heating and cooling energy it uses. While heating your home, each unit of energy supplies 3–4.5 units of heating energy.

In other words, a geothermal heat pump is 300–450% more efficient than fuel source systems. Fuel source furnaces can’t return the full 100% of the energy they use, though they do come close.

What Makes Geothermal Systems More Efficient Than Other HVAC Systems?

Geothermal heat pumps use electricity to run the heat pump and transfer the heat instead of using electricity or fossil fuel to heat and cool your home. They rely on transferring existing heat.

The Earth maintains a consistent temperature rather than fluctuating as the temperature does outside. This steady temperature is another reason geothermal heat pumps are more efficient than other HVAC systems.

Can Fluid in the Loops Freeze?

Because it can fall below 32 degrees in Summerville, SC, you may worry about fluid in the loops freezing. Geothermal HVAC systems have anti-freeze mixed in the fluid to prevent freezing.

The loops of a geothermal system are durable as well. They can last 40–70 years.

Are Geothermal Systems Worth the Money?

This is a question that only you as the homeowner can answer once you’ve learned enough about how geothermal systems work and their pros and cons. They’re certainly worth the money if they’re suitable for your situation.

One of the most important factors is how long you plan on living in the home. Due to the initial expense, you want to stay in the home for decades if you choose a geothermal system. We offer installation of furnaces and other heating and cooling systems if you decide geothermal heating and cooling isn’t for you right now.

Pros of geothermal systems include the highest energy efficiency, low operational costs, long lifespans, easy maintenance, a low impact on the environment and the ability to heat your home’s water. Geothermal HVAC systems do require maintenance like all heating and cooling systems, but it’s nothing excessive.

Because of how many advantages there are to geothermal systems, they may eventually become the most commonly installed HVAC solution. Contact Berkeley Heating & Air Conditioning to discuss options and pricing in a geothermal HVAC system for your home in Summerville, SC.

Image provided by iStock

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