You can harness geothermal energy to heat your home in the winter and cool your home in the summer. These ingenious systems are efficient, but will they live up to their reputation and save you money on your heating bills? Let’s discuss what you should really expect from a geothermal heating and cooling system and whether one is worth it for you.
What is a Geothermal System?
Geothermal systems work with barely any electricity, gas, or propane use. How do they manage it?
Geothermal systems take advantage of the relatively stable temperature of the Earth a few meters below the ground. When you’re this deep in the ground the Earth is always about 8 to 10 degrees Celsius. By running pipe down to this level and pumping the colder or warmer air back to the surface, the geothermal system changes the temperature of your home.
In the winter, geothermal heat pumps bring up air from the ground that is much warmer than the air outside. In the summer, geothermal cooling systems bring up cooler air from the ground. Both systems circulate a fluid through the ground, which reaches the stable temperature of the ground at that depth and releases that temperature when it returns to your home.
A rare geothermal system called an open-loop system doesn’t circulate liquid but relies on groundwater to transfer the heat or cold from the ground into your home. This is an even more efficient system, but few homes can have it as it relies on nearby groundwater.
Are Geothermal Systems Efficient?
Compared to a furnace, fireplace, or air conditioner, a geothermal system is highly efficient. The system only needs to use just enough power to pump the liquid down to the ground and back up to the house again. This is substantially less energy than you’d need to create the heat or cold air in a furnace or air conditioner.
Will a Geothermal System Save You Money?
A geothermal system will save you money on your monthly utility bill but will not eliminate your heating or cooling costs. You can expect roughly a 50 to 60% reduction in heating and cooling costs, depending on how efficient your current system is and what temperature you like to set your thermostat to.
Another thing to consider is that a geothermal system can be expensive to install. If you’re considering buying a home with the system you can simply benefit from the great utility savings. However, if you want to install it yourself, it may take a long time for the system to pay for itself in saved utility costs.
RB Heating can help you assess whether a geothermal heating or cooling system will save you money in the long run. For all of your heating and cooling needs, contact RB Heating.