Geothermal is rapidly gaining popularity as an energy-efficient heating and cooling method. Especially during the Dallas-Fort Worth area’s extreme hot summers, these systems provide effective, reliable cooling and save you money on your electrical bills.
If you’re considering installing a geothermal heat pump, chances are you’ll need a closed-loop system. These systems use a continuous loop of durable high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic tubing buried in the ground or submerged under water. The tubing contains water with a anti freezing agent added for extra protection. An electric heat pump draws heat from this antifreeze solution and distributes that heat through your ductwork or radiant floor system.
Open-loop systems that circulate groundwater are also viable in some cases, but require a large body of water to circulate and water treatment is needed to preserve the integrity of the system.
- Horizontal closed loop — In this type of geothermal installation, the tubing is laid out horizontally in a trench of at least four feet deep and two feet wide. The loops may be buried with one above the other or side by side. This is usually the most cost-effective option where space is available and soil conditions are good. If you have considerable acreage, this is a good cost effective way to lay out a geothermal piping solution. However you will need 450 feet of space for each 1 ton of A/C and heating load required for a your home. That is why vertical drilling is by far the most popular method of geothermal installation in the DFW area.
- Vertical closed loop — This installation type is often preferable where space is limited, heating and cooling demands are high , the soil is too rocky or sandy for trenching or to avoid damaging landscaping. Vertical installations require boring multiple small-diameter holes of between 100 to 400 feet deep. Most commonly in DFW are that is 240 to 260 feet per well ( per 1 ton of AC cooling or heating) The holes accommodate lengths of tubing connected at the bottom.
- Surface-water closed loop — Also called a lake or pond system, this type may be practical if your DFW-area property has a large body of water that lies within a few hundred feet of your home. In these installations, the tubing is formed into coils and sunk below the water surface.
Regardless of which installation meets your needs best, if you install an Energy Star-qualified geothermal system from now until December 31, 2016, you’ll be eligible for the 30 percent Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit. You will also enjoy the highest efficiency available in A/C SEER rating often around 28-34 SEER. The life expectancy of a geothermal heat pump is 2 times that of a conventional A/C unit (up to 25 years) based on the fact that it sits indoors and is not subjected to the outdoor extreme conditions that a conventional heat pump or A/C condenser must face.
If you’d like professional guidance choosing an efficient geothermal heating and cooling system, contact us at AirRite Air Conditioning Company. We’ve been serving the Dallas-Fort Worth area since 1955.
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 and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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