F.A.Q.

Before reading these Frequently Asked Questions about Geothermal, we’d recommend reading How It Works as well as Myths vs Facts.

Even if Geothermal is 1/3 the price of heating with propane, oil, or electric, the install price is still expensive.  How can I get around that? We have found that a 10 year financing package from a bank will provide the money needed for the install of a typical geothermal system while the cost of financing is still low enough that in combonation with the geothermal operating cost, it is less or on par with your current cost of heating with propane, oil, or electric.    Simply put: FOSSIL FUEL COST  >=  GEOTHERMAL COST + 10 YR LOAN PAYMENTS.  Another popular option is taking the cost of the geothermal install and lumping it into your mortgage either when you first buy/build the house or when it comes up for renewal.  The cost of the geothermal is then stretched out over the remainder of the mortgage with very low monthly payments that are far lower than the cost of heating with fossil fuels.

What is the warranty on a geothermal system? The loop outside has a lifetime warranty and there is a 10 year limited warranty on all major components of the system inside.

What information do you need in order to size the geothermal system properly? We conduct a full heat-loss/gain calculation on your house in order to properly size the geothermal unit as well as predict the cost of heating with this new system.

How long does the geothermal system usually last? While there is a lifetime warranty on the pipe installed in the ground, the normal lifespan of the interior components of a geothermal unit is about 15 to 20 years.  The interior components are similar to a refrigerator and, just like old refrigerators, are replaced with newer more efficient models before they stop working.

What maintenance do I have with a geothermal system? The only maintenance required is cleaning the air filter in the forced air systems.  The cleaner the air filter, the more effective the heat transfer as well as the fan will operate at a lower rpm and save you money. We do offer a service to come by and preform a diagnostic as often as you would prefer.  We recommend a diagnostic be preformed once ever three years just to provide some peace of mind that your system is preforming as well as it was when installed.  It’s not required but it is comforting to know everything is running smoothly.

I hear a geothermal system will heat my domestic hot water.  Explain that. Whenever the compressor runs in the heat exchanger, we take water from the bottom of the hot water tank and run it around the compressor and absorb the heat.  By doing this properly, we are able to preheat the water from the well to 110F before it gets to the hot water tank.  On average, up to 50% of your hot water cost is saved by this method.

Of the three different ways to install a ground loop, which is more efficient? While the vertical and lake loop systems are more efficient than the horizontal loop install, we size all loops to operate at the same efficiencies.  Ideally, we prefer to install vertical loops right in middle of the driveways down into bedrock where it will never be disturbed. However, since this is the most expensive loop to install, the horizontal and lake loops work just as well on properties that have the space for the horizontal loop or proximity to the water’s edge.

I want a radiant heating system in my new house.  Does geothermal work with that? A radiant floor is a wonderful way to keep your feet warm in the cold months of winter and will mesh perfectly with a geothermal install.

If I only have radiant heat in my house, how can I cool the air in the summer? Air conditioning relies on air flow and if you only have a radiant heating system, you would have to install a duct work system to cool the air throughout the house.

Can I get a humidifier installed on a forced air geothermal system? Humidifiers are a great idea for homes with a lot of wood that shrinks and expands throughout the seasons.  A humidifier is easily installed on the side of the duct work of a geothermal system to provide the house with enough humidity to keep the wood from shrinking substantially as well as keep the house feeling warmer then what the thermostat actually says.  In the summer months, real humid days feel a lot warmer than what it actually is and similarly by increasing the humidity in the house during the winter can provide a more comfortable atmosphere without cranking up the thremostat.

I want to heat my garage as well as my house.  Is that possible? During the designing stages of installing a new geothermal, we would measure and size the garage for a heating system as well.  Whether it is a future consideration or part of the initial install, heating garages, shops, and bunkies in addition to the main house can be a great idea.

I want geothermal in my cottage and want to adjust the heat with my phone. Doable? Yes.  We are able to install Wifi thermostats so that you can monitor the temperature of your cottage as well as adjust it according to your schedule. No more arriving at a cold cottage in the middle of winter!

Okay, I’m sold on geothermal.  What’s next? Give us a call or an email and we can set up a site visit and get you a price on new geothermal system.

 

 

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