Sizing a Geothermal System: Just as Important as With Traditional HVAC Systems
You may have heard about how important it is to size traditional HVAC equipment. However, just because you opt for geothermal heating and cooling doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. Sizing a geothermal system is an intricate process that requires the help of a qualified contractor. The installer starts by analyzing your home’s heating and cooling needs, which allows him to calculate an accurate size for the geothermal heat pump. The heat pump’s size dictates the loop field’s size.
As you go about choosing a contractor to install your new heating and cooling equipment, consider these important aspects of sizing a geothermal system. Undersized systems are less expensive, but that’s where the benefits end. If you opt for a smaller heat pump with a lower purchase price, you could end up with a system that struggles to meet your home’s heating and cooling requirements.
The result is a less comfortable home and higher energy bills as the geothermal heat pump uses more electricity in an attempt to make up for its smaller size. Oversized systems are sometimes considered good because they err on the side of caution. However, an oversized system has just as many problems as an undersized system.
For example, short cycles reduce efficiency, put extra wear and tear on the system, and fail to remove humidity adequately. Loop size requirements depend on heat pump size, soil type and climate conditions. Without properly sizing the heat pump, the loops could be incorrectly sized as well, causing more comfort and efficiency problems. Never choose your contractor based on price alone. Inexperienced technicians could undersize your system by failing to do the proper calculations. Ask your contractor how they calculated the system size; it should have nothing to do with your prior system.
Finally, you should never be offered multiple sizes to choose from; there’s only one right answer!
For more about sizing a geothermal system, please contact Sobieski Services in Wilmington today. 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).
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