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Why homeowners choose geothermal  Smart Choices Archive

Why homeowners choose geothermal

Geothermal heat pumps are the most energy-efficient heating and cooling systems available today.

Energy Efficiency: Heating, Cooling, Ventilation

Why should consumers consider "going geo" when purchasing an HVAC unit? Based on information from, here are three top reasons why homeowners go geo:

1. Energy Efficiency
Geothermal systems take advantage of the fact that a few feet below the ground the temperature remains relatively constant. The system exchanges heat from the home with the ground through tubes that contain a water and anti-freeze mixture. A geothermal heat pump circulates the water to heat and cool the home.

That means a geothermal system doesn’t use any type of fossil fuel for heating. The system does use small amounts of electricity to run compressors and fans. But you won't pay a dime for heating oil or natural gas for heat. It also provides air conditioning during the summer months using very little electricity.

Your actual savings will depend on the climate where the home is located, local energy rates, and the thermostat settings. However, studies from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency indicate that most homeowners will see a reduction of 30 to 70 percent in their heating and cooling costs.

2. Comfort
Say goodbye to hot and cold spots in your home. And say goodbye to the noise and blast of heat when the furnace kicks on.

Compared to a typical forced-air furnace, a geothermal system delivers more even heating and cooling. Homeowners don’t experience the temperature extremes between the times the furnace turns on and off. Instead, the geothermal system runs longer but with less intensity, making for a comfortable, quiet setting in the home.

Geothermal systems also bring benefits in air quality, both inside and outside the home. Because they do not use flammable fossil fuels, geothermal systems do not emit greenhouse gasses, known to contribute to environmental air pollution. Because there is no combustion, there is no chance of explosion or hazardous fumes or risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Also, the lack of combustion means the air in the home has a higher level of humidity. That's welcome in the winter when many homes suffer from dry air.

3. Durability
A geothermal system offers long life and low maintenance costs, reducing the need for replacement, which lessens the impact on the waste stream from your home. And it lessens the impact on the family budget.

The average life expectancy of a geothermal unit is nearly 25 years compared to the 13-year average life expectancy of conventional systems. Most ground loop fields have an indefinite life expectancy.

Geothermal systems have less maintenance costs because the units are located indoors rather than being exposed to the elements. Geothermal systems also have fewer moving parts, which reduces the need for maintenance and repairs.

In addition, the EPA reports that geothermal systems have the lowest life-cycle cost of all heating and cooling systems on the market.

Geothermal heating and cooling is smart choice for both new construction and existing homes. Work with a qualified installer to select the right system for your home to start saving on utility costs and make your home much more comfortable.

For more information: Contact your electric cooperative for more information on choosing a geothermal system, as well as details on rebates and tax credits.




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