Geothermal heat uses water from the ground to conduct heat into the home. It is a highly efficient system compared to a pump that uses air. The down side, though, is the cost to purchase and install a geothermal system. But because it operates so efficiently, experts estimate you could recoup your money in as few as two years.
Typically, geothermal can be used throughout the U.S., because of consistent ground temperatures. Before going ahead, you need to determine if your property is conducive for geothermal heating.
Geology. The composition of soil and rocks should be assessed. In the best-case scenario, you will have fewer rocks and a lot of good soil to allow enough heat to transfer through piping.
Hydrology. An expert will need to determine how much ground and surface water is available. This determines the kind of “loop” to use, either open or closed. If hydrology is not adequately addressed, there could be problems down the line with either depletion or contamination. It’s ideal to have a natural body of water on the land, like a pond or well, or have high ground water.
Available Land. This is a crucial aspect. Because the majority of geothermal heating is installed underground, either horizontally or vertically, there must be enough land mass to accommodate it. Anything blocking the space, like landscaping, sprinklers, or underground utilities, will hinder use.
Horizontal loops are typically used with new homes because installation can be planned ahead of time within the space. Vertical loops are used in tighter spaces and require deeper digging. Because tubing is laid 7 feet under the ground, in a zigzag pattern, the amount of land available is critical to determining the feasibility of geothermal heating.
Once feasibility is assured, geothermal heating will save energy and money while greatly increasing your comfort.
It’s a big decision, and the professionals at Roth can answer your questions or provide advice to help decide if geothermal is right for you.