How Geothermal Differs from Other Heating Systems

Many people have heard of geothermal heating and cooling, and how it utilizes the heat of the earth to condition the air in your house. But most people probably don’t understand many of the differences between geothermal systems and conventional HVAC equipment. Geothermal is more efficient, more environmentally friendly, and more durable than an air source heat pumps or furnaces. While the initial cost is greater than with other systems, the price of installation is usually made up in less than 10 years.

geothermal installation

Combustion

Conventional heating systems, like a gas furnace, use combustion to create heat. Besides needing to pay for this fuel source, this combustion means that there is a greater need for maintenance and repair because of the intense heat produced by the burning of oil or gas. There are also safety precautions that need to be taken with any gas burning equipment. For instance, you need to be aware of the possible of possible CO leaks or of dangerous problems like delayed furnace ignition. On the other hand, geothermal systems have no need of an external fuel source (though the heat pump is probably powered by electricity), and, unlike gas or oil, they is use a completely renewable source of heat. There are very few safety precautions needed with geothermal systems because there is no combustion at all, just the transfer of heat from the earth to your home.

Maintenance

Traditional HVAC equipment requires regular maintenance to function safely and efficiently. For example, you should have your furnace cleaned and inspected every heating season to make sure that the heat exchanger is not cracked, the thermostat is working properly, and that there is no danger of CO leaks. Geothermal systems require very little maintenance. While the heat pump should be inspected once a year, the majority of components are underground and require little to no upkeep. The underground pipes are often guaranteed to last 25-50 years, while the average furnace only lasts around 15 years!

Efficiency

Geothermal systems have heating efficiencies of more than 50 percent higher than other heating systems. While the system still needs some electricity to run the geothermal heat pump, they very efficiently transfer heat from the ground to your home. Furnaces, air conditioners, and heat pumps require a great deal or electricity, gas, or oil to operate, leading to high utility bills. Though the initial installation cost of geothermal can be intimidating, the lower monthly bills will make up the price very quickly. After all, you will no longer need to pay for oil or gas! And since your geothermal system can be used for both heating and cooling, you don’t need two separate sets of equipment for the winter and the summer.

Geothermal systems are safe, reliable, and require very little maintenance. They have many benefits over traditional HVAC systems, including better efficiency and a renewable heat source. They are a long lasting and environmentally friendly heating and cooling system for any home.

This information is from Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling, a Lansdale heating and air conditioning contractor that also does geothermal system installation.

Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/44244119@N08/4065580037/in/photostream/

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