Q&A

Are geother­mal heat sys­tems re­ally as ef­fi­cient and cost ef­fec­tive as I’ve heard?

Timber Home Living - - Contents -

Geother­mal heat sys­tems

ARELYING ON NAT­U­RAL RE­SOURCES is one of the most en­ergy-ef­fi­cient ways to heat and cool your tim­ber home. A geother­mal pump works with the Earth’s tem­per­a­ture, which re­mains con­sis­tent year­round, usu­ally be­tween 45 and 70 de­grees Fahren­heit.

When it comes to heat­ing, geother­mal sys­tems are up to 70 per­cent more ef­fi­cient than tra­di­tional fur­naces, and cool­ing ef­fi­ciency is about 20 to 40 per­cent bet­ter than air con­di­tion­ing. There’s the po­ten­tial to save on hot wa­ter bills, too.

But you’ve got to think long term when re­search­ing geother­mal sys­tems (op­tions shown, right). In­stal­la­tion isn’t cheap — dou­ble or even triple up­front costs of a con­ven­tional sys­tem. How­ever, it’s not tough to re­coup the ini­tial in­vest­ment. There are fed­eral tax cred­its to be had, some util­i­ties of­fer re­bates and, of course, there are long-term sav­ings on monthly bills. Also, util­i­ties and lend­ing in­sti­tu­tions may have spe­cial fi­nanc­ing pro­grams for home­own­ers in­stalling these en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly sys­tems.

Bonus: Main­te­nance costs may be lower, too, be­cause me­chan­i­cal parts, which re­side in­doors or un­der­ground, aren’t ex­posed to the elements.

Just a few feet below the sur­face of the Earth, the ground main­tains a fairly con­sis­tent tem­per­a­ture, typ­i­cally 45 to 50 de­grees in the north­ern states and 50 to 70 de­grees far­ther south.

OPEN-LOOP SYS­TEM HOR­I­ZON­TAL CLOSED-LOOP SYS­TEM VER­TI­CAL CLOSED-LOOP SYS­TEM POND-LOOP SYS­TEM

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