Answers to All of Your Geothermal HVAC Questions
Find out what a geothermal heating and cooling system is, how it works, and the benefits it could provide to your home.
No home is complete without an HVAC system to keep it warm in the winter and cool in the summer. But for some homeowners, outdated HVAC systems can be a point of major frustration. From their heavy effect on the environment to their ability to drive up those monthly energy bills, it may be time to say goodbye to your HVAC system of ages past. Luckily, as the demand for energy efficiency and green alternatives grow, so does the popularity of geothermal HVAC systems.
What Is a Geothermal HVAC System?
Geothermal HVAC systems use fans and air ducts to circulate air throughout the home like traditional HVAC systems do, but the similarities between the systems end there.
By harnessing the earth's energy, geothermal systems are able to provide heat and air conditioning without relying on fossil fuels or electricity -- becoming a popular (and green) alternative to traditional HVAC units. Homeowners looking to reduce their environmental impact while also keeping their home comfortable will definitely want to consider this option.
How Do Geothermal HVAC Systems Work?
To naturally heat and cool your home, geothermal systems use water to carry heat from the earth to the home in colder months and push heat from the home in warmer months. This process works because the earth's ground temperature remains consistent all year round, meaning it's warmer than the outside air in the cooler months and cooler than the outside air in the warmer months.
Geothermal HVAC units use two components to heat and cool a home: a heat pump and an underground loop field. The heat pump, located inside the home, either pulls heat from the water to warm the home or puts heat from the air into the water to cool the home. The water is then sent back underground to be warmed or cooled through the underground loop field (a series of loop-shaped pipes).
Although geothermal HVAC systems are very energy-efficient, they do require a small amount of electricity to run the fans and the heat pump.
How Much Does Geothermal HVAC Installation Cost?
Geothermal HVAC systems can cost anywhere between $3,500 and $12,900 which fluctuates based on a few different factors. One large factor is the orientation of the underground loop field. Vertical loop fields typically cost significantly more because of the deep drilling required for their installation. Another factor that determines the cost is the size of the home. The size of the house influences the required capacity of the geothermal HVAC heat pump and the size of the underground loop field. A geothermal HVAC system will likely be more expensive for a larger house than a smaller house.