Geothermal systems are one of the most energy-efficient and long-lasting ways to condition the air in your home for year-round comfort. They are also expensive to purchase and install, although over the long life of these HVAC systems, the costs of operating and maintaining them is lower than other types.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, ground-source heat pumps or geothermal systems use between 20 and 50 percent less energy than other kinds of heating and cooling systems. The energy efficiency lies in the fact that the pipes sit underground, where the temperatures are a consistent 50 to 55 degrees throughout the year. Heat pumps don’t need any fuel other than electricity to heat or cool your home. When temperatures are the same throughout the year, the appliance doesn’t need to run harder to heat or cool extreme temperatures.
In the summer, the ground source heat pumps take heat from your home and lose it underground from the pipes. In the winter, those same pipes harvest the heat to warm the refrigerant, transferring it to your home via the interior air handler.
Geothermal heat pumps do not use outdoor compressors like air-source heat pumps, which simplifies their maintenance and lengthens the system’s life. The underground pipes can last as many as 50 years, while the interior components have a 25-year lifespan, on average.
Advances in the technology for these systems make it possible to use them even if your yard is small. Instead of laying the pipes horizontally, HVAC contractors lay them into deep, vertical trenches. If your yard has access to a lake or pond, you can also use the water as a medium for heat exchange, reducing the amount of land you need to benefit from these systems.
If you install a qualifying geothermal system before 2016, you can qualify for tax credits as high as 30 percent of the equipment and installation costs. If you’d like to learn more about how you save with geothermal, contact Roth Heating & Cooling. We’ve been providing HVAC services to the Portland area since 1976.