Geothermal Myths That Need to Be Debunked

Posted On: January 01, 2014

Are you interested in making the energy-saving and greener switch to a geothermal heat pump system? If so, you’ll want to separate the truth from various geothermal myths floating around. But first a quick overview of geothermal heating and cooling.

A geothermal HVAC system uses the constant temperature of the earth to both heat and cool the home. This can be done because the temperature several feet underground is relatively constant and mild, while the air temperature outside can change radically from day to day, season to season. A geothermal system uses an indoor heat pump connected to a network of pipes laid underground in your yard (either in a shallow horizontal pattern or a much deeper vertical layout). The pipes carry a water/anti-freeze mixture (usually) that transfers heat from the earth into the home for heating, and deposits heat energy from the home back into the earth for cooling.

One of the biggest geothermal myths is that these systems are not considered renewable because they utilize electricity. While it’s true they aren’t completely renewable, they come much closer than regular heat pump, A/C or furnace systems. Geothermal heat pumps use only a small amount of electricity to operate the indoor heat pump. They don’t use an outside condenser unit with a constantly operating fan, so the reliance on burning fossil fuels is minimal.

The second major myth surrounding geothermal systems is that they require homes with a lot of yard space. The truth is that the system likely can be adapted to fit the geography of your home. If you don’t have a lot of land, a vertical loop system can be excavated, which requires much less surface area.

The third major myth surrounding geothermal HVAC systems is that they do not last. The truth is that the pipes used to exchange heat energy can last for several decades. Meanwhile, the indoor heat pump unit is protected from the elements so it will last a long time – up to 25 years – before requiring replacement.

If you’re considering a geothermal heating and cooling system for your Bethalto, Troy or Alton home, please contact us today at Ernst Heating & Cooling.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Hamel, Alton, Glen Carbon, Highland, Greenville, and Troy, Illinois and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about geothermal and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide. 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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