Did you know there is a power energy source buried in your own backyard? Geothermal heating, also known as geo-exchange heating, is the direct use of geothermal energy for heating. Super-efficient geothermal heat pumps offer residents clean and quiet heating and cooling that can save you money on energy costs while helping your home maintain a consistent temperature. Savings from direct use can be as much as 80 percent over fossil fuels, according to National Geographic. While the benefits of geothermal heating are clear, there are still some misconceptions surrounding the topic.
1. Geothermal Heating Is Too Expensive
Many people are put off by geothermal heating due to the cost. While it is true that geothermal heating and cooling systems cost more upfront than a traditional conventional HVAC system, geothermal heating is much more energy and cost-effective in the long run. Best of all, the savings begin immediately. It takes an average of just three to five years to recover the difference in costs between a geothermal heating and conventional system.
2. Geothermal Systems Are Inconsistent
It is a common myth that geothermal HVAC systems are not strong enough to keep homes warm on the coldest of days. In reality, geothermal systems offer efficient and consistent indoor temperatures comparable to conventional heating systems. While the earth’s surface may be freezing, the temperature several feet under the ground is much warmer. As heat-absorbing water circulates through the system’s pipelines, the heating potential is fully harvested.
3. Geothermal Heating Is Not Renewable
Some people are under the impression that geothermal heating and cooling systems are not really renewable as they use electricity. It is important to learn how geothermal energy is used to distinguish the truth from the myth. For each unit of energy a geothermal HVAC system uses, it creates the equivalent of five units of heating or cooling performance. Geothermal systems use temperature differentials between the surface and underground naturally and renewably.
4. Geothermal Heating Requires at Least One Acre
If you have a home on a small lot, you may believe that geothermal heating is not an option for you. However, smaller residential properties can also take advantage of geothermal energy as long as the soil conditions around the home are right. Vertical earth loops can be created to allow smaller parcels of land to use geothermal heating systems. However, there has to be enough room to allow a drilling rig to access the loop field.
5. Geothermal Systems Lack Quality Control
There are several misconceptions about the quality of geothermal heating systems. It’s wrongly believed that these systems are noisy, leak refrigerant onto the ground, and are subject to rapid wear and tear. In reality, none of these claims are true. Geothermal HVAC systems are quiet and do not even use refrigerants, only water. Underground, the piping networks are able to last indefinitely. Indoor air handlers and compressions can last upwards of several decades if properly cared for.
6. Geothermal Systems Are Difficult to Maintain
Like all home heating systems, geothermal systems require regular maintenance. However, the maintenance is actually less than needed by conventional heating systems. Not only do geothermal heating systems last longer, they also require fewer repairs and less maintenance than your average furnace or heat pump. Just like your conventional heating system, maintenance is usually as easy as changing an air filter.
7. Geothermal Systems Cannot Provide Energy 24/7
Just like a conventional heating system, a geothermal system can provide round-the-clock, consistent heating. As a reliable, baseload energy source, energy is also created in all weather conditions to meet customer demand. Geothermal power plants have the ability to produce electricity consistently, running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
8. Geothermal Sources Contribute to Pollution
It is understandable why some people would believe that generating electrical power from geothermal source could potentially contribute to pollution. However, this is a myth. Electric power does not create pollution. In addition, modern closed-loop geothermal power plants that are used to generate electrical power do not create greenhouse gases. Users can also save on water, as geothermal heating uses less water than most conventional technologies.
9. Geothermal Heating Is Not Available Where I Live
If you live in the United States, you likely have access to geothermal heating. This is because geothermal heat pumps can be used nearly anywhere in the U.S. due to the near-constant shallow ground temperatures. While different areas may have varying degrees of cost savings and efficiency, most users can reap the benefits of geothermal heating no matter their location.
10. Geothermal Systems Require a Backup Heating Source
It is untrue that you will need a backup heating source if you decide to go with a geothermal heating system. This unique system circulates liquid through a buried system of pipes, known as an earth loop. As it circulates, it absorbs energy from the earth and uses it to heat your home. As underground temperatures are constant year-round across the nation, it is able to maintain consistency with all weather and seasons.
11. Geothermal Systems Cannot Handle Multiple Loads
Geothermal heating systems are more powerful than you would think. The HVAC system is specifically designed to handle multiple loads at once. This allows the average homeowner to heat their home, water, and pool simultaneously, just like with a conventional heating unit.
12. Geothermal Systems Only Offer Heating
Geothermal systems offer multiple functions, including cooling. In fact, the HVAC system works just as effectively for cooling and can even be engineered to require no additional backup source. These benefits are also provided while reducing your carbon footprint and boosting your energy savings.
Professional Geothermal Heating Services
If you are ready for an earth-friendly, sustainable solution for your home, try geothermal heating and cooling. RBrooks HVAC in Northern Maryland is a family-owned and operated company offering professional geothermal heating and cooling system installation and repair. Contact our team of experienced technicians today to schedule a free estimate and see how geothermal heating can enhance the comfort of your home.