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Geothermal Heating and Cooling: How It Works To Save You Money

Posted on: March 1st, 2013 by

Geothermal heating and cooling has been in use for more than 50 years in the U.S., but it’s only recently begun to gain attention in the mainstream. In the Dallas-Fort Worth area and elsewhere, much of the reason for the growing interest is the promise of lower energy bills and a longer equipment life span.  Many consumers refer this as the total cost of ownership value . 

The potential cost savings of these systems come thanks to their high energy efficiency. Geothermal is up to 2 times or greater in efficiency than an air-source (conventional) heat pump or gas powered furnace and A/C system. Even in the most extreme hot and cold temperatures of the DFW areas , geothermal systems can reach 28-34 SEER ratings vs the traditional standard efficiency rating in conventional AC systems set by the federal government as 13 SEER. To translate into consumer language  each 1 point increase in SEER rating achieved may result in a 12-13% decrease in electrical usage . That saves you money for pursuing Geothermal A/C for your home.

Geothermal heating and cooling can reach these efficiencies because the ground temperature is more stable than the air temperature. The ground absorbs about half the solar energy that reaches the earth, so it stays warm even in winter. In summer, however, the temperatures underground are constant and are not subject to the 105 degree temperatures found on the earths surface.

To do their job, geothermal heating and cooling systems use a loop of pipe (ground loop) filled with water. ( closed loop system) . An electric compressor and heat exchanger (heat pump unit) located in your home draws heat from the water solution and sends the heat into your heating distribution system, whether that’s forced-air ductwork or a radiant floor system. In summer, the heat pump draws heat from your home and moves it to the ground where the water leaves the home at 105 degreees and returns after going down in the ground 240 feet , it returns at 75-80 degrees .

Depending on your location and your heating and cooling needs, a properly installed geothermal system could reduce your energy costs by 30 to 60 percent. Through reduced energy bills, these systems typically pay for themselves within five to 10 years.

The federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit shortens the payback period, too. Install Energy Star-qualified geothermal heating and cooling anytime from now until December 31, 2016, and you can claim a 30 percent federal tax credit on the purchase and installation costs.

Interested in taking advantage of a high-efficiency geothermal system to keep your home comfortable? If so, get in touch with us at AirRite Air Conditioning Company. Since 1955, we’ve been helping homeowners in Dallas-Fort Worth find optimal HVAC solutions.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Fort Worth and Arlington, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about Geothermal heating and cooling and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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