More Geothermal Energy Advantages
Geothermal energy pros and cons.
It truly is quiet:
With our units, there’s no noisy outdoor equipment to disturb the peace or clutter your yard. Some homeowners have reported checking the unit to see if it’s running. Picture it now, a backyard bar-b-que without the incessant noise of the typical air conditioner.
Longer Life & Reliability:
Because geothermal units don’t require any outdoor equipment (other than the underground loops), they are protected from the rain, snow, environmental contaminants and abuse that hinders the efficiency of traditional air conditioners and heat pumps.
Geothermal units don’t burn any fossil fuels or create carbon monoxide. This reduces our dependence on foreign oil while it works to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. One geothermal unit is the environmental equivalent of taking two cars off the road forever. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says geothermal heat pumps are the most environmentally friendly and cost effective way to condition our homes. Do yourself a favor and reduce your carbon footprint while keeping the utility companies from crawling inside your wallet and scrubbing it clean monthly.
Lower Energy Bills:
Geothermal units only use a small amount of electricity to transfer the available energy already stored in your backyard to heat and cool your home. See energy savings of up to 70% over the more conventional option you are currently using. Because of the high energy efficiency of geothermal heat pumps, these systems can produce four units of energy for every unit of electricity used to power the system. You get to pocket the savings.
System Life Span:
Typical installations where geothermal is not in the mix requires regular and sometimes expensive maintenance – this includes air-conditioning unit, furnace and the water heater. Given that there are no components exposed to the outdoor elements in a typical geothermal heat pump installation, equipment life is pro longed and requires little maintenance other than periodic checks and filter changes. Expect a typical lifespan of the heat pump unit to be at least 20 years if properly maintained.
A properly designed and configured geothermal system, by a qualified design team, ensures that the air flow and resultant lack of hot and cold spots are optimal for your living space. No roaring to life of the conventional furnace, duct pops or cold spots to harass you. Really and truly a “comfort system” that lives up to the promise.
While geothermal installations for private home use have increased substantially in the past 20 years, these installations are still not as pervasive as the more traditional heating and cooling options. Given this relative lack of market dominance, the installation costs for geothermal heat pump and loops are still higher than traditional heating/cooling methods.
This higher initial installation cost can be significantly reduced when operating efficiencies and property resale values are taken into account. kc&b, operating in Brandon Manitoba, has over the past 5 years, installed geothermal units, both rural and urban, in over 95% of the homes we have built---and this based primarily on the true financial projections based on this technology. The numbers, despite a higher initial installation cost, speak for themselves.
While this concern can be relatively easily mitigated, it is a fact that the geothermal systems require loops in the ground by which to transfer the heating or cooling effect to the residence. On any new build scenarios, whether rural or urban, this is no longer a real issue. Most building lots have enough space to drill the vertical loops in series around the periphery of the structure being built. In dense retail or commercial settings, these vertical loops can be incorporated directly into/under the structure itself when building a new facility. In retrofits or major renovations, the land use issue becomes more of a challenge but solutions in even these cases can frequently be found.
These geothermal energy pros and cons as outlined above are not exhaustive. Generally speaking however, the simple fact remains that this method of energy use is highly sustainable with a virtual endless supply of the raw material needed to heat/cool your home or business. The world is screaming for less reliance on existing energy sources. Let’s do our part by exploring a truly tried and tested methodology—and hold onto the savings and benefits for ourselves.