Geothermal: Quiet, Clean And Very Energy-Efficient
The earth absorbs energy from the sun even on days that are cloudy or cold. This energy is stored roughly 6 feet underground. At this depth, the temperature remains somewhat stable (around 50 degrees Fahrenheit) from winter to summer. This means that right under your feet, there is a reservoir of untapped energy. Wouldn’t it be great if you could use it?
With a geothermal heat pump, you can. Geothermal ground source systems convert this stored energy into heating or cooling for your home. It’s one of the most energy-efficient ways to keep your home comfortable on the market.
Ground source systems include pipe loops, which are installed underground or in a nearby body of water, like a pond. If you have enough land, they can be installed horizontally, but if your space is limited, they can go into deep, vertical holes.
The pipe loops collect the earth’s energy, turning it into heat for your house. They cool your home by pumping heat back into the earth. Basically, ground source systems allow you to use the earth like a giant battery.
Energy-efficiency is the biggest advantage to geothermal. Your utility company charges you by the kilowatt-hour for electricity. A geothermal system uses a single kilowatt-hour to create around 12,000 Btu of heating or cooling. That saves over 50 percent more energy than the highest rated furnaces and air conditioners available. (Try out our savings calculator to see how much you could save.)
Homeowners in the Delaware valley region love ground source systems for many reasons:
- They’re quiet and unobtrusive.
- They operate on a fraction of the energy that conventional systems use.
- They’re some of the most environmentally friendly systems currently available.
- In general, they don’t require much maintenance. The pipe loops can last around 50 years.
The initial investment might be overwhelming, but considering efficiency levels that can be as high as 600 percent even in the most frigid weather, the returns are impressive. Tax incentives and financing options can make the purchase more practical. Many homeowners see returns in under 10 years.
Sobieski Services offers sales, service and more advice on the geothermal basics for your home. Our goal is to help educate our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).