Maintaining Your Geothermal System: 5 Things You Need to Know

Geothermal draws on the latent thermal energy of the ground below your property to heat and cool your home throughout the year. It is a growing trend in America with over 1 million homes currently operating geothermal systems, and it is also popular in other areas of the world. If you have a geothermal system, then you may already know about one of its most important benefits: its minimal maintenance requirements. While furnaces and air conditioners require frequent, routine maintenance to upkeep their performance and efficiency, a geothermal system tends to be much more durable. However, there are a few things you should do to make sure your system continues to operate effectively. Here are 5 things to know about geothermal maintenance.

1. Installation is crucial: If you want to be able to rely on your geothermal system year after year for excellent heating and cooling throughout your home, then it needs to be professionally installed. Find a qualified HVAC company with experience with these types of systems. While the indoor components of your geothermal system are not dissimilar to standard heat pump setups—requiring an air handler and ductwork—the outdoor components need to be carefully installed based on the geography of your yard. As with any HVAC system, its size must match your home to prevent short cycling and extra wear and tear on components. In order to take advantage of the minimal maintenance duties geothermal is widely praised for, it’s necessary to have your system installed by a professional.

Geothermal equipment being installed

 

2. Antifreeze levels: The antifreeze or water and antifreeze mixture that circulates throughout your underground loops needs to be of a certain level in order to work properly. As this antifreeze circulates throughout the earth loop, it absorbs and dissipates thermal energy, depending on the season. If you have a leak somewhere or the incorrect amount was added during installation, your geothermal system will be unable to heat and cool effectively. During routine maintenance, your technician can check to make sure that your loop pressure and temperatures are correct.

3. Dirt and debris: Dirt and debris can damage any of the indoor parts of your geothermal system, from the heat exchanger to the blower motor. During geothermal maintenance, your technician has the opportunity to clean sensitive mechanical components so that your system will continue to work effectively.

4. Air ducts: It’s not something that most homeowners think about, but your geothermal system relies on the cleanliness and integrity of your air ducts. If the air ducts that distribute the heated or cooled air throughout your home are leaking or damaged, your geothermal system will not be able to keep your home comfortable. Maintaining your air ducts is an important part of keeping your geothermal system functioning at maximum energy efficiency.

5. Piping: There are various types of loop designs available for geothermal systems. It depends upon the unique circumstances of each project. Whatever type you have, the high density plastic or copper piping (DX) that runs underground should not require maintenance. What a maintenance visit can do for your pipes is make sure they are not leaking or in need of repair. Since these underground pipes are one of the most important components of your geothermal system, it’s essential to make sure they remain in good condition.

Although geothermal maintenance tends to be minimal when compared to air conditioners, furnaces, and even air-source heat pumps, it’s still necessary to ensure that your system gives you the energy efficiency and home comfort you deserve.

This information is courtesy of Columbus air conditioning contractor HHR Heating & Cooling Solutions. Please visit their blog for more HVAC information and tips!

Comments (6)

 

  1. Kathy says:

    Why would my heating bills be do high. $200-400 monthly in winter

  2. You make valid points. I agree that the number one factor to be aware of is making sure the homeowner finds a competent and professional expert to install their geothermal system. Going with a company with little or no experience could be a costly decision.

  3. Lawrence Evans says:

    We have a unit that keeps losing water, I have had two contractors work on it and neither can resolve the problem.
    they have ran the leak solution through the loop and no success. Would I be better to just replace it with a heat pump?

  4. You stated that it’s not something that most homeowners think about, but your geothermal system relies on the cleanliness and integrity of your air ducts. My brother just moved into a temporary home that has a geothermal heating system that hasn’t been working correctly. Do most contractors have the tools to clean out the ducts? Hiring a professional contractor to come and have a look might be a good idea.

  5. sunny says:

    Questions: 1. My water bill was $259./mo. I cannnot find any
    leaks. Can this have anything to do with my geo? I just bought the house. Have spent $1600 on 6 repair calls so far & not moved in yet.

    2. If I turn the water to the house off at the curb, will this
    affect the geo?

    3. Is there an instruction manual somewhere for potential probems, cleaning, turning on/off, etc?

  6. Becca Holton says:

    It’s nice to know that you need to be more careful about who your hire to install a geothermal heating system. I didn’t realize that had a lot of impact on how well your system does year after year. Personally, this is one of those instances where I wouldn’t mind paying a little more if that meant receiving better quality.

Leave a Reply to Geothermal Pro Louisville, Ky