Geothermal Heating and Cooling
How to save 30% on heating and cooling energy costs, each month
Here are answers to some of the most asked questions about geothermal heating and cooling - including how much
it will cost, how it works, and whether you should install one.
Contact the experts at Stanton Homes - and learn even more about geothermal systems and building green.
What is a Geothermal system used for?
A series of pipes, or loops, are buried in the ground near the home.
These loops circulate a fluid (water, or a mixture of water and antifreeze) that either absorbs heat from
the surrounding soil, or dissipates heat into the ground.
How does the geothermal system heat the air?
It's similar to a traditional system - but in this case, the earth's temperature has done most of the work.
A geothermal heat pump works with the fluid from the loops, removing the heat.
It then concentrates that heat, and transfers it to the home's standard duct system.
When cool air is needed, the process is reversed.
How much space is needed for the geothermal loops?
The loops needed for a geothermal system can be buried either vertically or horizontally.
The horizontal method is preferred if enough suitable land is available.
What is a Geoexchange system?
A geothermal system is called many different things, including geoexchange, ground water, ground water source,
ground water assisted, and water furnace heating and cooling.
All refer to some type of "loop" system that harnesses a constant underground
temperature and uses it for heating and cooling.
How can I install a geothermal system into my Raleigh new home?
If you are considering installing a geothermal heat pump system, you'll want to make your
decision before the foundation is completed, if possible. There will be some cost savings
if the trenching work can be done at the same time as other lot and foundation preparation work.
Also, once the framing is completed, most home builders will have already ordered a conventional HVAC system.
What home builders in the Raleigh area will install a geothermal system?
Even though geothermal systems have been used since the 1940s, they are not a typical feature of most homes.
Look for a custom home builder or a green home builder who is willing to work with nonconventional
building methods and materials.
How much does a geothermal system cost in the Raleigh/Triangle area?
Like any heating and cooling system, the total cost depends on several factors.
How large is the home?
What is the climate like?
Is there enough room for a horizontal loop system?
At what point was the decision to install made?
In general, your heating and cooling equipment and installation costs will be at least double or triple a
conventional system - depending on the type of system, the excavation needed, and the size of home.
Several recent quotes in the Raleigh area gave a price tag of $17-30K more than a conventional
system, for a new home.
Do I save any money by having a geothermal system?
According to Energy Star and the US Department of Energy, a geothermal heating and cooling system will
save you about 30% on the cost of heating and cooling energy each month.
There are other benefits too.
A reduced use of energy reduces air pollution.
Most geothermal systems have a 25 year manufacturer's warranty - but keep in mind this is just for
the loop system itself. The actual heating and cooling unit usually has the standard 10 year
warranty typical of Westinghouse and Trane warranty.
There are aesthetic features as well - a geothermal system has a smaller indoor-only unit, so
there's no big air conditioning unit sitting outside the home. Homeowners say these systems
are quieter and offer more uniform heating and cooling.
Should I install a geothermal system?
A conventional and geothermal heating and cooling system each have attractive features.
The lower cost on a conventional system attracts many homebuyers, but the potential long
term savings and healthier environmental impact influence others to choose a geothermal system.
Work with your home builder to determine which system is better for your needs.
According to the EPA, the geothermal systems can save 40 percent to 70 percent on home
heating and 20 percent to 50 percent on home cooling costs over conventional systems,
although installation costs are higher.
Click here to read about Geothermal System tax credits
- there are Federal, state, and energy company credits.
Click here to read more about what Geothermal Systems.