Geothermal heating systems have been a source of clean, cost-effective heat for homes, schools and businesses for decades, but until recently, few people knew about this technology. Skillings & Sons has been installing geothermal well systems for nearly 30 years and has worked on projects large and small. Below you’ll find some helpful geothermal heating system facts as you research this growing green heating choice.
• Geothermal systems use the earth’s constant temperature to heat and cool buildings and provide hot water. It does this by circulating water or a water solution through a pipe or series of pipes installed in a geothermal well drilled deep within the ground. This liquid transfers the earth’s warmth into the home, which is then concentrated through a heat pump and distributed throughout the home.
• More than one million geothermal HVAC systems have been installed and are generating heat, hot water and cool air for buildings in the United States today. This is a small segment of the total HVAC systems operating today, but numbers show this is a quickly growing market.
• Geothermal systems greatly reduce toxic gas emissions from your home heating system. Since geothermal systems do not burn fossil fuels to produce heat, it generates far fewer greenhouse gas emissions than a conventional furnace. It also eliminates the risk of carbon monoxide, which is a deadly gas that can seep into homes and other buildings from malfunctioning combustion furnaces. Even factoring in its share of the emissions from the power plant that produce electricity to operate the system, total emissions are far lower than for conventional systems.
• According to the Environmental Protection Agency, geothermal heat pump systems are the most energy-efficient, environmentally clean, and cost-effective space conditioning systems available.
• Geothermal systems can save homeowners 30 percent to 70 percent on their heating costs and 20 percent to 50 percent on their cooling and air conditioning costs compared to conventional systems.
• The U.S. General Accounting Office estimates that if geothermal systems were installed nationwide, they could save several billion dollars annually in energy costs and substantially reduce pollution.
• People who install geothermal systems usually report a high level of consumer satisfaction, and a higher level of satisfaction than owners of conventional systems. Polls show that more than 95 percent of all geothermal homeowners would recommend it to a family member or friend.
• Geothermal systems displace roughly 1.2 million tons of CO2 emissions every year. That’s like taking 220,000 cars off the road!
• Geothermal systems aren’t just for homes. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, schools using geothermal systems right now are saving an estimated $25 million in energy costs. These schools have also reduced CO2 emissions by 500 million pounds per year.
• Geothermal systems can be used in any part of the country. Because it transfers heat to and from the earth, which remains at a relatively constant temperature, it can be a reliable source for heat even in colder climates, like New England.
• Geothermal systems can be cost effective, even with higher installation costs. Geothermal systems require purchase of the heat pump, exchanger and drilling a well, which increases the installation price. However, the added cost over a combustion system should be considered alongside the lifetime costs of the system. Without the cost of fuel, regular maintenance and dehumidifying systems, a geothermal system could prove to be the more cost-effective system over time.
If you have questions about installing a geothermal heating system, call Skillings & Sons at 1-800-441-6281.