Why Geothermal? In a word- comfort. Comfort was a common theme at the IGSHPA (International Ground Source Heat Pump Association) conference held in Las Vegas in October. This year noted industry experts and professionals presented on topics ranging from marketing to state of the art technological breakthroughs. Several speakers at the conference explained, technically, why Geothermal is comfortable.
In the context of traditional HVAC systems, comfort usually refers to feeling satisfied with respect to temperature and humidity regardless of the weather outside. A properly installed geothermal system will be comfortable. Consistent, even temperatures and humidty control are just a small part of why GHP’s have a long track record of satisfied customers. Having lived and worked in Geothermal buildings for over 18 years, I think there are other, equally compelling reasons why Geo is “comfortable”.
1. Comfort that utility bills will be low. There is a certain financial peace of mind that comes from the technical fact that, for every unit of energy purchased from the local utility, Mother Nature will kick in several more units free of charge! In heating this results in efficiencies that often exceed 400%! Compare this to the maximum efficiency that could even theoretically be achieved by the fossil fuel burning systems- 100%. In cooling the expected 30 to 50 percent advantage of Geo comes because rejecting the interior building heat to the cooler earth temperatures is a much more efficient method of heat exchange than using the warmer outside air.
2.Comfort that you will not be on a first name basis with the dispatcher at the local heating company. Again, a system installed by qualified professionals will typically not require even yearly maintenance. Regular attention to filter changing is all that a homeowner need worry about in the short term. Commercial buildings may require some other maintenance associated with large systems, but far less than any other comparable HVAC system. Unlike traditional air cooled systems, the change of seasons does not present any particular issues because the equipment for most GHP systems is typically installed inside the house or building and not subject to extreme weather conditions. [click to continue…]