Geothermal heating and cooling systems offer numerous benefits. They can save you a lot of money, they’re energy efficient, environmentally safe, and quiet, and they typically require little maintenance. At first glance, you may think, “I’d be crazy not to choose a geothermal system!” These types of systems certainly aren’t right for everyone, however. While they may be advantageous for many homeowners, they could be overly expensive and a hassle to install for others. Keep reading to find out if a geothermal system is a good fit for you and your home.
This blog article is part of Cyclone Contracting's Ames Heating and Cooling Series.
Advantages of Geothermal Heating and Cooling
Low Operating Costs
The up-front cost of installing a geothermal system is higher than that of a traditional heating and cooling system. Recurring costs are much lower, however, and you can potentially recoup the extra cost spent on the installation through energy savings and lower utility bills over a two to ten year period (depending on factors like soil condition, climate, and system features), according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Make sure you do your research and work with a professional to determine if a geothermal system is the right solution for you.
In general, a geothermal system uses 25–50% less electricity than a conventional system, and if your system is equipped with a “desuperheater,” it will take the heat removed from your house in the summer and repurpose it to heat your water, making water heating virtually free! In the winter, your water heating costs will be low as well—about half of what they’d be with a conventional heating unit.
A geothermal system has fewer moving components than a conventional system so typically requires little maintenance.
Unlike a normal air conditioner, there’re usually no noisy compressor or fan required, so the system is very quiet overall.
Clean, Renewable Energy
Onsite combustion doesn’t take place, so carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and other greenhouse gases aren’t produced and released like they are in conventional heating and cooling units. The system does require electricity, but you can avoid greenhouse gas emissions here as well by buying from a green supplier.
When to Consider Geothermal
You’re building a new home.
Usually, the best time to install a geothermal system is when you’re building a brand new home. Why? Because installation requires heavy drilling and digging, sometimes deep into the ground, and can be highly disruptive to your landscaping.
Your current heating and cooling system is old or overly expensive to heat or cool.
If your current system is inefficient, monthly costs are more than you’d like them to be, or recurring costs seem to be escalating, it might be time to replace. If your heating and cooling systems are both getting old, then replacing them with a single geothermal system could be a smart move. Your new system will likely be much less expensive to operate after it’s installed than your old, worn out system. On the other hand, if your heating/cooling system is still going strong, it might not be a cost effective move for you to switch to geothermal at this time.
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to give us a call or reach out to us online. Cyclone Contracting can install or repair a geothermal HVAC system for you or assist you with any other heating and cooling services in or around Ames, Iowa!