Answers, Answers and Answers..........
Geothermal provides cheap heat. Can it cool too?
It can do more than cool; it can also hot water.. A simple switch at the thermostat reverses the process, and may provide virtually free hot water. Some units can make all of your hot water.
Are we going to be comfortable
Probably more comfortable than ever. A geothermal system moves warm air throughout your home via a standard duct network. Because the system moves a larger volume of air, heat is more even throughout the home and the initial cold air blast common with fossil fuel furnaces is eliminated. It's also a great comfort to know that you've reduced your energy consumption while using a renewable source - the earth. Geothermal means a cleaner house because there is no soot from combustion, and increased air flow means increased filtration
Open-loop vs Closed-loop?
The heart of the geothermal systems is the ground loop. A closed-loop system extracts heat from the earth trough a series of liquid-filled pipes buried in the ground below the freeze line. The HDPE pipes are filled with water and antifreeze. The pipes may be run vertically or trenched horizontally. . An open-loop geothermal system uses well water as a heat source. As the water passes through it, the system extracts heat, reducing the water temperature. The water is then returned to the earth, usually by letting it seep into the aquifer. The HDPE pipe can have a lifetime of 50 years or more. In most urban areas, vertical loops are used.
My friend has a backhoe. Can we put in the loop ourselves and save a few bucks?
It's not recommended. In addition to thermal fusion of the pipe, good earth-to-soil contact is very important for successful loop operation. Nonprofessional installations may result in less than optimum system performance, and void manufacturer's warranty. Look for qualified installers who guarantee their work. A system improperly designed or installed may operate acceptably the first year, but fail to maintain.
Will an earth loop affect my lawn or landscape?
Well, digging a trench can get a little messy. But experience has shown that loops have no adverse effect on grass, trees or shrubs. Most horizontal loop installations use trenches about two feet wide. This of course, will leave temporary bare areas that can be restored with grass seed or sod. Vertical loops require little space and result in minimal disruption. In urban areas and those with established landscaping, we recommend vertically drilled loop fields.
Is a geothermal heat pump difficult to install?
Most units are easy to install, especially when they are replacing a forced air system. They can be installed in areas unsuitable for fossil fuel furnaces because there is no combustion, thus, no need to vent exhaust gases. Ductwork must be installed in homes that don't have an existing air distribution system. The difficulty of installing ductwork will vary and should be assessed by a contractor.
Do I need separate loops for heating and cooling?
No. The same loop works for both. All that happens when changing from heating to cooling is that the flow of heat is reversed.
Should I buy a system large enough to heat my home with no supplemental heat?
Your contractor will calculate the heating and cooling load (heat loss/ heat gain) to guide equipment selection. Some new generation systems can be sized to meet optimum heating and cooling requirements without additional supplemental heat. In our metropolitan area, we are almost balanced between heat and cooling. Most clients request a supplemental electric strip for emergency purposes.
How so you get heat out of cold water well or the frozen earth.
The earth is a wonderful source of heat. VisitLuray or Endless Caverns to witness stable temperatures throughout the year. Geothermal heating and cooling systems, also called earth loop, or ground-coupled heat pumps, move the heat from the ground into your home using the same technology your refrigerator uses to remove heat from food.
How do geothermal owners feel about them?
State and national surveys show that over 95 percent of owners are very satisfied with their geothermal units, and more say they would choose the system again and recommended it to others.
Is the technology proven?
The technology has been around since the 1900's. Tens of thousands of the units have been installed in all parts of the U.S. and Canada.