Introduction to Geothermal HVAC
The aim of this page is to give the reader some practical information on geothermal heating and cooling systems (known as geothermal HVAC). That implies providing a list of benefits (and drawbacks) of the implementation of such systems, and some considerations regarding their purchase. In that sense, the structure of the page is the following:
- Reduction of energy bills: one factor allows geothermal HVAC systems to have a 30% to 70% reduction in annual energy costs when compared to conventional heating and cooling systems. That is the high-efficiency ratios of geothermal systems: higher than 100% for both heating (where the efficiency ratio is the Coefficient of Performance (COP), ranging typically from 3 to 5) and cooling (where the most employed efficiency ratio is the Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER), being normally higher than 12).
- Independence from fluctuations of energy prices: geothermal energy is a completely free and available source of energy. This implies that its demand and prices aren’t regulated at all, unlike most other types of energy.
- Free hot water: the addition of a device called “desuperheater” to the HVAC can provide free hot water during the summer and reduce the hot water costs by half during winter.
- Greenhouse gas reduction: the only external source of energy utilised in geothermal HVAC is electricity. Furthermore, that electric energy produces 3-5 times the energy it brings to the system (when heating), and if the source of that electricity is a sustainable one, the environmental impact of the HVAC is minor.
- Longer life span: the fact that hardly any of the components of a geothermal HVAC are located outdoors, since some of them are buried underground and the rest is inside the building where geothermal heating and cooling is being applied, preserve them from the damages that the weather could cause.
- Little maintenance: contrary to the common pattern of very frequent and tedious checks and repairs that characterise heating and cooling equipment, geothermal HVAC systems require little or no maintenance.
- Comfort is improved: when compared to conventional equipment, an HVAC distributes heating and cooling more evenly, and also dehumidifies the air during summer.
- Silent system: geothermal HVAC systems are nearly silent, thanks to the way they operate.
When considering to equip a building with a geothermal HVAC system, it is extremely important to take into account different factors. Here we offer a list of some of the most important of them.
- Energy requirements: in the first place, it is necessary to quantify our desirable comfort conditions in terms of heating and cooling loads and humidity level.
- Evaluation of land characteristics: we have to analyse the geological and hydrological conditions, as well as the land availability, of the piece of land where the installation may take place.
- Economic evaluation: the costs asymmetry of geothermal HVAC may scare away some possible users of this technology since the installation cost is really high. But if we take a look at the whole picture, the low utility bills, together with special financing and incentives, will cover that initial costs in a shorter period of time than that that could be expected.
If you are interested in geothermal HVAC systems, we can help you by providing a tool where you'll be able to request offers from different suppliers and to compare them accordingly to your own preferences. You just have to fill in the form on the top right of the page. It will only take few minutes, and it's free and without obligations.
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