Geothermal Heat Pumps
- Homeowners receive superior energy ratings
- Deliver comfortably warm air on the coldest days
- Low operating costs
- Energy efficient
- Environmentally friendly
- Requires lower maintenance than traditional heating/cooling systems
- Many systems qualify for a 30% Tax Credit
Here's a quick video to explain the basic concepts to you
Here's a more detailed video that was put together by Waterfurnace - the manufacturer of American Standard Geothermal heatpumps.
And finally, if you want to learn even more, keep reading!
We want to make sure you’re aware of an exciting technology that can save you thousands of dollars on your propane bill every year. This isn’t about a new and unproven technology - it's a mature and reliable heating and cooling solution that's been around for more than 40 years. What I’m referring to is a Geothermal Heat Pump System (also known as Ground-Source, Water- Source, Geoexchange or, simply, "Geo"). The word "Geothermal" might conjure up images of Old Faithful or Icelandic hot springs, but that’s not the kind of energy we’re talking about here. Geothermal in this case refers to energy from the sun that's absorbed by the ground, keeping the temperature 5-6 feet below the surface constant at around 55 degrees. It's that Geothermal energy we can tap into to reduce your energy costs so drastically.
Take a look at this sample data based on a heating/cooling system for a typical home:
So, if you're currently living with an older system to heat and cool your home you could go Geothermal today, and in less than 10 years, pay back the cost of installation. You could then continue to enjoy over $2,500 of annual cost savings for the life of the system - projected to be 30 years! Even if your system is running and reliable or newer, you’re throwing money away based on its inefficiency and fuel costs. You're already paying the cost of a Geo system in your propane bills - you’re just not getting any of the benefits!
To help understand why a system like this can save you money, it’s important to understand a bit about how Geo works and why it is so efficient. First of all, the system itself does not create heat like a gas furnace by burning fossil fuel. Instead, it is a heat pump and, being a pump, it simply moves heat from one place to another. You already have at least one heat pump in your home - you probably have two or three. Your refrigerator and your air conditioner unit are both heat pumps, configured to work in one direction only. They take heat from one place (inside your fridge or home) and move, or pump it, somewhere else (outside your fridge or home). A Geothermal Heat Pump uses that same concept – moving heat – to either warm or cool the inside of your house. But, instead of transferring heat to the air, like your fridge or AC, it uses a series of pipes that run underground (in that zone 5-6 feet below the surface that's always at about 55 degrees) and exchanges heat with the earth. Being a reversible heat pump, it takes heat from the ground to heat your house in winter and, to cool your home in the summer, takes heat from your house and deposits it in the ground.
Where do the savings come from? Traditional furnaces are rated in AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) and air conditioners are rated in SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio). Since we use much more heating than cooling in our region of the country, I will focus on heating performance. Today’s most efficient furnaces are rated around 95% AFUE – that means for every dollar of gas you burn, you get $0.95 worth of heat delivered to your home. Given that many furnaces in homes today are 80% efficient or lower, and with today’s fuel prices, that's a lot of dollars going up your chimney. Geothermal Heat Pumps, on the other hand, use a value called COP (Coefficient of Performance) to rate their heating performance. COP measures how much energy is delivered for every unit of energy used. Geothermal units have a COP of around 4 – that means that you get $4 of heat for every $1 of electricity used. So, if we rated a Geothermal unit like a furnace, it would be 400% efficient! But, that efficiency isn’t magic - it’s because we’re not creating heat; we’re just moving it from underground where it's been heated by the sun conveniently stored for us in the yard. Geo simply takes advantage of the heat already there and puts it where you need it.
Geothermal has a number of other benefits as well:
- Federal Government Tax Credit - System are still eligible for a 30% uncapped credit – that means a $25,000 Geo installation would get you $7,500 in tax credits!
- Water Heating Cost Savings - Geo has the ability to generate some of your domestic hot water in addition to heating and cooling your house with the same great efficiency to save you even more.
- Longevity - Geothermal Heat Pumps last 30 years! Why so much longer than traditional systems? It's because the units are not subject to the wear and tear generated by the heat of an internal fire (like a furnace), and don't have to live outside year round (like an air conditioner). One Geo system could outlive two traditional Furnace/AC systems, saving you money all the while.
- Comfort and Cleanliness - A Geothermal system, installed by Illiana Heating, provides you with 3 stages of Heat and 2 stages of Cooling along with a variable speed blower motor. This means the system will be providing just as much heating and cooling as you need for improved comfort and savings while also allowing for constant air filtration and circulation.
Geothermal Heat Pumps aren’t for everyone. In order to benefit from the savings, there is the elevated installation cost to consider (shown in the table on the previous page). The other consideration is space. Adequate room is needed to run the underground loop field; although, where space is tight, a vertical-loop field installation option can be quoted.
After weighing the pluses and minuses for your situation, if this is something you would like to learn more about, please contact us by phone or email for a personalized analysis for your home. Don’t wait for your existing system to break down and be forced into making a quick decision that you’ll have to live with - that old system is costing you money and isn’t giving you the comfort you deserve.
Illiana Heating is a full service family owned and operated HVAC dealer in Cedar Lake, Indiana. We’ve been installing and servicing residential and light commercial heating and cooling equipment for almost 25 years. Our experience combined with Geo’s amazing savings are a winning combination. Maybe you don’t need a Geothermal system, but see if there is anything else we can help with. Thank you for your time and I hope to speak with you in the near future.