Busting Geothermal HVAC Myths
August 22, 2014
Ten myths about geothermal heating are eliminated.
Geothermal systems are not renewable technology since they consume electricity.
Fact: Geothermal HVAC units require only one electricity unit to produce five units of hot or cold air in a building.
Wind power and photovoltaic are better renewable technologies than geothermal systems.
Fact: The amount of kilowatt-hour consumption removed by geothermal HVAC systems from electric grids for every dollar used is four times bigger than the amount provided by wind power and photovoltaic systems. Although these technologies have a significant role, geothermal HVAC systems provide a cost-effective method of reducing environmental impact while enhancing comfort inside buildings.
Geothermal systems require a huge space for polyethylene piping earth loops.
Fact: The earth loop may be positioned vertically under the ground depending on the land features. This reduces the space required above the ground. The use of an aquifer reduces the space further. Water used on the heat exchanger is returned back to its source, which reduces the impact on the environment.
Geothermal systems create a lot of noise.
Fact: The system is quiet and it has no outdoor unit that can create noise to annoy neighbours or homeowners.
Geothermal systems deteriorate over time.
Fact: Earth loops can last for a very long time while heat-exchange equipment can be used for decades. Latest technical guidelines remove problems in ground thermal retention, which ensure an indefinite exchange of heat. There have been instances when overheating or overcooling of the ground occurred due to inadequately-sized systems. This resulted in a malfunction in the system due to the absence of a suitable temperature gradient.
Geothermal systems are limited to heating mode.
Fact: Geothermal systems can work in both heating and cooling mode. Although they can be designed to make backup heat unnecessary, some clients consider the presence of backup systems cost-effective during cold days to ensure a smaller loop.
Geothermal systems are incapable of providing heat to water, a swimming pool, and a house simultaneously.
Fact: These systems are capable of handling numerous loads at the same time.
Geothermal systems position refrigerant lines under the ground.
Fact: Many systems utilize water in the lines or loops.
Geothermal systems require a lot of water.
Fact: Geothermal systems do not consume water. Whenever aquifers are used for heat exchange, the water is restored into the aquifer. Although older systems required “pump and dump” systems that resulted in water wastage once it goes through the heat exchanger, they are rarely used these days. At the commercial level, geothermal HVAC systems do not require much water anymore.
Geothermal systems are not cost-effective without incentives from the state and federal government.
Fact: State and federal incentives cover around 30 to 60 percent of the entire cost of a geothermal system, which allows it to compete with conventional systems. Conventional systems cost at around $3,000 for every ton of cooling or heating capacity while geothermal systems are priced at around $5,000 to $9,000 per ton. However, modern installation techniques reduced costs up to a point they can compete with conventional HVAC systems under certain situations.
Contact Scott-Lee Heating Company at (314) 200-0788 for further information.