Is Solar Or Geothermal Home Heating For You?
If you’re faced with replacing your existing furnace, it’s a good time to consider solar or geothermal home heating as an alternative. Worldwide, solar is now the most popular renewable energy source, according to the United Nations. Geothermal energy, meanwhile, uses the unvarying underground heat of the earth (or a nearby water source) to warm your home efficiently. New geothermal installations in this country now exceed 60,000 per year, making it the fastest-growing energy alternative in the country. Both solar and geothermal still qualify for a 30 percent federal tax credit on the cost of the system. Here are the main perks of each to help you determine if solar or geothermal home heating is right for you:
Solar photovoltaic panels installed on your roof convert the sun’s energy into free electricity. Most solar systems remain connected to the electric utility grid for power at night. During daylight, the system feeds surplus electricity back into the grid, earning credit on your electric bill and reducing costs. Solar is combustion-free, uses no fossil fuels and produces no CO2 emissions, and solar photovoltaic panels are low-maintenance and many have lengthy warranty periods.
In a closed-loop system, geothermal heat pumps utilize buried plastic tubing, continuously circulating heat transfer fluid to absorb the year-round latent warmth of the earth. This heat is concentrated by a standard compressor process, then blown into your ducts to heat your home. In an open-loop system, pipes are placed in a nearby water source, usually a water well or a pond.
A geothermal system employs a simple and clean operation while producing four units of heat for every one unit of energy consumed. This 400 percent efficiency far exceeds the 95 percent rating of a conventional gas-fired forced-air furnace. Heat pumps also deliver reliable, straightforward service and the buried loops of tubing have lengthy warranties as well. It also helps that energy savings from geothermal will eventually pay off the cost of the system over time.
Considering the benefits of solar or geothermal home heating? Contact us today for more information.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Wilmington, Delaware and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
Image Credit: Lozula