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HOW A GEOTHERMAL SYSTEM WORKS
Throughout the year, New York temperatures fluctuate with the changing seasons. However, about four to six feet below the Earth’s surface, New York temperatures remain relatively moderate and consistent all year. This is because the Earth absorbs 47% of all heat and energy from the sun that reaches the surface. A geothermal system circulates a water-based fluid through a buried loop system to take advantage of these consistent temperatures.
GEOTHERMAL HEAT CYCLE
During the heating process, fluid in the loop absorbs heat from the earth. It is transferred to the unit located in the home. The geothermal system distributes the warm, comfortable air by either a conventional duct system or radiant heat system.
GEOTHERMAL COOLING CYCLE
For cooling, the geothermal system process is simply reversed. The warmer temperatures in your home are removed and transferred to the loop fluid. The heat in the fluid is deposited into the ground and the fluid is cooled.
HOW A GEOTHERMAL SYSTEM COMPARES
Based on 3,500 square foot home. 76,600 BTU Heat Loss. 40,000 BTU Heat Gain.
4 Persons in household for domestic hot water. Fuel costs used are $0.042/kwh heating. $.082/kwh cooling.
$1.10/therm for natural gas, $1.70/gallon for LP gas, and 16 SEER efficiency for air conditioner.
Actual savings may vary. American heating and Cooling can provide you with a free and detailed analysis.
Annual Heating, Cooling, and Hot Water Costs for Geothermal System = $843.00
Annual Heating, Cooling, and Hot Water costs for Natural Gas = $2,355.00
Annual Heating, Cooling, and Hot Water costs for LP Gas = $3,787.00
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF GEOTHERMAL
Geothermal is recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as the most environmentally safe, cost-effective heating and cooling system on the market. The installation of one geothermal system is the environmental equivalent to removing two cars from the street.
Geothermal systems use a small amount of electricity to transfer heat to and from the ground to your home. In fact, it can produce three to four units of energy for every unit of electricity used to power the system. Even the best conventional system delivers less than one unit of energy for each unit it consumes. New York home owners typically experience an annual savings of 50 to 80% when compared to ordinary systems.
Geothermal systems use the same principles that operate a refrigerator or freezer, and the units are just as quiet. There is no unsightly outdoor unit to disturb you or your neighbors.
Geothermal systems heat and cool homes evenly, eliminating the hot and cold blasts of air found with conventional systems. Geothermal systems also dehumidify the air during the hot summer months.
Clean and Safe:
Geothermal units do not use fossil fuels such as propane and natural gas. Threats caused by combustion are eliminated. No worries about flames, fumes, odors, or carbon monoxide.
Ordinary systems often require expensive regular maintenance for each unit – the furnace, the air conditioner, and the water heater. When properly installed, a system requires little or no maintenance beyond periodic checks and filter changes. Geothermal systems typically last more than 20 years if properly maintained.
Positive Cash Flow:
Geothermal systems will produce significantly cheaper utility bills and annual maintenance costs. The initial cost of a geothermal system can be tied into your mortgage or other form of low interest financing option. The savings on your utilities easily cover the increase in your loan payment giving you the extra cash flow. A system will usually pay for itself within a two to five year time span.
Earth Loop Types
Typical loop installation where land area is limited. The loop installer drills vertical holes a depth of about 125 to 250 feet. U-shaped loops pf pipe are placed into the holes. The bores are then properly backfilled.
Installation option when adequate land is available. Horizontal loops are usually cheaper to install when compared to vertical loops. The loop installer uses a trencher or backhoe to dig one or more trenches. Each trench is at least 4 to 6 feet deep and lengths range from 100 to 300 feet, depending on the loop design and application.
When a nearby body of water is available, pipe coils can be placed on the bottom to transfer heat to and from the water. A ½-acre, 8 ft. deep pond is usually sufficient for the average home. This option is usually less expensive to install than both earth loop options.