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Geothermal FAQ

Geothermal Heating and Cooling

Geothermal

Geothermal power is cost effective, reliable, sustainable, and environmentally friendly.

The adjective geothermal originates from the Greek roots geo, meaning earth, and thermos, meaning heat. The Earth's geothermal resources are theoretically more than adequate to supply humanity's energy needs, making geothermal heat pumps an excellent choice for both home owners and commercial applications.

Also known as a ground source heat pump, geothermal heat pumps are highly efficient renewable energy technology that is gaining in popularity for its many benefits. Their great advantage is that they work by concentrating naturally existing heat, rather than by producing heat through combustion of fossil fuels.

The technology is based on the fact that the Earth (beneath the surface) remains at a relatively constant temperature throughout the year, warmer than the air above it during the winter and cooler in the summer. The geothermal heat pump takes advantage of this by transferring heat stored in the Earth or in ground water into a building during the winter, and transferring it out of the building and back into the ground during the summer. The ground, in other words, acts as a heat source in winter and heat sink in summer.

Benefits of Geothermal Heating

  • The biggest benefit of Geothermal Heat Pumps is that they use 25%–50% less electricity than conventional heating or cooling systems. This translates into a GHP using one unit of electricity to move three units of heat from the earth.
  • Geothermal Heat Pumps also improve humidity control by maintaining about 50% relative indoor humidity, making GHPs very effective in humid areas.
  • Geothermal Heat Pump systems allow for design flexibility and can be installed in both new and retrofit situations.
  • Geothermal Heat Pump systems also provide excellent "zone" space conditioning, allowing different parts of your home to be heated or cooled to different temperatures.
  • Geothermal Heat Pump systems are durable and highly reliable. They have relatively few moving parts and are usually sheltered inside a building.
  • Longevity - the underground piping often carries warranties of 25–50 years, and the heat pumps often last 20 years or more.
  • Since they usually have no outdoor compressors, Geothermal Heat Pumps are not susceptible to vandalism. On the other hand, the components in the living space are easily accessible, which increases the convenience factor and helps ensure that the upkeep is done on a timely basis.

How It Works

The system includes three principal components:

  1. Geothermal earth connection subsystem
  2. Geothermal heat pump subsystem
  3. Geothermal heat distribution subsystem

Using the earth as a heat source/sink, a series of pipes, commonly called a loop, is buried in the ground near the building to be conditioned. The loop can be buried either vertically or horizontally. It circulates a fluid (water, or a mixture of water and antifreeze) that absorbs heat from, or relinquishes heat to, the surrounding soil, depending on whether the ambient air is colder or warmer than the soil.

Did You Know?

Geothermal systems have been used for over 50 years and millions of units have been installed world-wide in commercial and residential applications

Geothermal Heat Pump systems heat or cool on demand and provide better comfort and humidity control than almost any other type of system. Geothermal systems can be easily adapted to zoned systems, providing even greater comfort.

Special bonus - Geothermal units can be ordered with an optional "hot water generator" that will supply up to 50% of the hot water needs of your home without increasing the unit's operating cost. That's right. Heat up to half of your hot water for free.

Most geothermal units produced today use R-410A, an environmentally sound non-ozone depleting refrigerant. When you combine their use of environmentally friendly materials with their extremely low energy usage, geothermal systems are one of the best environmental choices available.

Due to their extremely high efficiency, geothermal systems are eligible for federal tax credits and state incentives.

Most geothermal heat pumps are automatically covered under your homeowner's insurance policy. Contact your insurance provider to find out what its policy is. Even if your provider will cover your system, it is best to inform them in writing that you own a new system.

Installing Geothermal Heat Pumps
Because of the technical knowledge and equipment needed to properly install the piping, a Geothermal Heat Pump system installation is not a do-it-yourself project. With the recent introduction of federal incentives, there have been a lot of companies with no prior experience that have begun offering geothermal systems – only Day Heating can offer decades of design and technical experience.

Day Heating has been installing Geothermal technology since 1987 - longer than any other contractor in the Salem and Corvallis area. Call today to speak to one of our experts. Salem: 503-363-4822 and Corvallis: 541-452-5111.