Facts vs. Myths

1. Geothermal is expensive: The money used to purchase a geothermal install is a lot less than the cost of paying the oil/propane/electric companies year after year to heat your house. the operating cost of a geothermal unit is 1/3 the cost of propane, electric, and oil.

2. The payback period for a new install is 15 to 20 years or more: We have found that the payback for the geothermal systems we have installed to be around 10 years or less when compared to oil/propane/electric heat. Geothermal can save 2/3’s of the heating bill every year without the quick rise in fossil fuel cost.

3.  The only good time to install a geothermal unit is when building new: While it is most effective to install a geothermal unit during a new home construction, most of the installs in Ontario are retrofits and are done anytime time the home owner wants to start saving money. People often install geothermal when the current furnace in the house need’s replacing or when the mortgage is up for renewal and the home owner can roll the cost of the geothermal install into the new mortgage. (that way, the cost of financing the install is less than the cost you would be spending on oil/propane/electric heat).

4.  The air from a Geothermal unit only heats up to ground temperature: Geothermal is refrigeration and the byproduct of refrigeration is heat. The hot coils on the back of everyone’s kitchen fridge is taking heat from the ice-cubes in the freezer and expelling it out the back via the hot coils. Geothermal is a same principle but on a much larger scale.

5.  Geothermal will not work on my property: We have found that even with Haliburton’s diverse topography, geothermal can work everywhere. If the size of the lot is an issue and we cannot install a horizontal system or a lake loop, we would install a vertical system in the driveway.

6.  Geothermal needs an additional heating supply: Geothermal can heat any size building without the use of backup or auxiliary heat. We only install backup heat in case something malfunctions within the geothermal unit or the pipes in the ground/lake. We also install backup heat at times so a larger geothermal unit is not required and the homeowner can save on the cost of the install as well as the cost of operating smaller components (compressor, pumps, and a fan) verses a larger unit.

7.  You need permits to install geothermal in the lake: The MNR and DFO are very much behind geothermal knowing that installing a geothermal unit is like planting 2 acres of trees or taking 2 cars off the highway. The MNR and DFO’s only requirement is that the install be completed in a way that uses best possible practices to ensure minimal disturbance in the water and shoreline.

8.  Geothermal in the lake is bad for the environment: Over the course of the year, we take about 12 times the amount of heat out of the water in the winter than we put into the lake during the summer. This cooling effect is very beneficial for the fish environment and the oxygen levels in the lake. However, if every waterfront resident was using the lake to heat their home/cottage, the change in water temperature would be less than 0.1 degree Celsius over the course of the year (which is also less than the increase in lake water temperature due to global warming).

9.  A Geothermal install takes water from the ground/lake to heat the house: We only install “Closed Looped” systems that cycle the same water/ethanol through the pipes. open loops from wells are possible but are susceptible to mineral content of the water and possible low flow rates.

10.  Geothermal technology is new and cannot be trusted yet: Geothermal heat pumps have been around for 30+ years and have been operating throughout Canada in all sorts and sizes; from small cabins in the woods to large high-rises in Toronto.

11.  Geothermal does not work as effective as Solar Power: We are able to operate a geothermal unit at +400% efficiencies and provide a home with enough heat energy to keep any house comfortable in the dead of winter. The size of solar panels required to produce enough energy to heat your house is on par with large corporate installations and never feasible for the average homeowner. While Solar panels work efficiently, they do not have the capacity at this time to produce heat in a cost effective manner.

12.  An Energy Star Propane/Natural Gas Furnace is just as efficient as Geothermal: While both systems are rated with the Energy Star rating, they are not compared against each other when rated. A high efficiency propane system operates around 95% efficient (for every 1 unit of energy your put in, you get 95% out). Geothermal works with levels above 400% efficient (for every 1 unit of energy you put in, you get 4 units out).

Comments are closed.