Geothermal Energy Information
Geothermal energy information will provide you with specific details of a geothermal heat pump and how it might be a good consideration for your home.
Geothermal energy is the stepchild of alternative energy resources for the private homeowner. It receives the least amount of press and is the one solution that is invisible once installed. While homeowners may not be able to use large-scale geothermal methods, they can make use of geothermal heat pumps to get more benefits than they can from a traditional heat pump. Here's a look at how it works and some things you should consider before you jump in.
Heat Pump versus Heat Pump
Ordinary heat pump systems extract heat from the air, sending it into your home and circulating it through the duct-work. Anyone living in a cold area of the country that heats their home with electric heat knows how difficult it is to get the house truly warm and the air is extremely dry.
This is why geothermal types are so much more efficient. Unlike normal heat pumps, these use the even and steady heat under the ground to provide heating and cooling on your home. They can also heat your water.
Even though temperatures vary widely all over the world the temperature a few feet under the ground is anywhere from 45 to 70 degrees. Geothermal heat pumps either pull the heat from the earth into your house or move it from your house into the ground.
On top of that, around seventy percent of the energy used to operate these heat pumps is geothermal energy from the ground, making this one of the quietest, most comfortable and most efficient methods of heating and cooling a home. A geothermal heat pump is more expensive to install than typical heating and cooling options, but regularly lowers utility bills by a third or more. It will provide from 30-70% of your energy needs. These mechanically simple systems are mostly located below ground and protected from weather, so there's less need to maintain them than there is a solar panel setup or a wind turbine. An unlike solar and wind energy, this is not a do-it-yourself type of project.
A desuperheater, is the hot water portion of a geothermal heat pump, add this to your configuration and you'll be able to heat your home's water, too. During times when the weather is too mild to require heat or air conditioning, you will need to rely on the electric company to provide you with hot water. While this system will provide you with heat, air conditioning and hot water, the appliances and lighting in your home continue to depend on the electric company. Generally, people with this kind of heat pump rate it highly.
Elements of the equation
The cost of this system is a multi-step consideration. Generally, a geothermal heat pump is twice the cost of a heating and air conditioning system. The average home requires a three-ton unit including installation that costs around $7500.
The second consideration is the drilling for the loop systems. Depending on your terrain and the type of drilling necessary, additional and significant costs can grow here. Your installation may include vertical or horizontal drilling. There are three major types of geothermal heat pump installations - open loop, closed loop, and water loop. In most cases, your costs will be recouped in five to ten years and the pump is very durable.
Because the drilling portion of this installation can vary significantly, having several estimates and understanding the drilling challenges with your project is an important part of the equation.
Remember to include the government incentives from federal, state and community. Also, net metering needs to be added into your calculations if this is an option in your state.
In my own new home, a geothermal heat pump is part of the plan. We expect to pay approximately $10,000 (after taking all incentives) on the heat pump/hot water and drilling. I expect to pay less than $50/mo., this represents a considerable monthly savings in electric bills and will take full advantage of net metering options and government incentives. I've been told that it will increase the value of my home and make it easier to sell. Living in the Midwest where we have cold long winters and hot humid summers, heating and cooling the house is a large portion of my energy expenses.
If heating and cooling your home represent a large portion of your energy expenses, consider a geothermal heat pump as part of your alternative energy solution. Geothermal energy is a very underutilized way to reduce your dependence on conventional power. Check it out and see if one of the types of systems might work for you.
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