As the name implies, geothermal heating uses natural heat from the earth to keep you and your family warm during the winter months. A geothermal system is composed of a heat pump, cooling fluid, and a system of underground pipes. Geothermal heat is produced when the earth absorbs heat from the sun during the day. During the winter, heat pumps extract heat from deep underground, funneling warm air into your home at a consistent rate. There are two types of geothermal configuration: open and closed-loop. An open-loop system is not as common as a closed-loop system because it requires an underground water source like a well or a spring. Closed loop systems are more common because they’re more versatile. However, both systems require a network of underground pipes. The type of system you choose will ultimately depend on the size of your property and ground conditions. For example, a vertical closed-loop system goes at least 100 feet underground. In colder climates, you may have to dig up to 400 feet. A horizontal closed-loop system is laid six to ten feet below ground. However, the pipes are much larger and cover a wider area. If you’re limited when it comes to backyard space, this might not be an option for you. During the summer months, the heat pump works in reverse, pulling warm air from your home and forcing it into the pipes where the ground absorbs it. The average lifespan of a geothermal system is 50 years for the outdoor equipment and underground pipes and 25 years for the indoor equipment like the pump. Keep in mind that servicing a geothermal system can be costly because your technician will have to excavate and expose the pipes to diagnosis any problems with your underground network.
While geothermal systems use natural heat, furnaces need fuel to produce heat. Fuel can be either propane, oil, or electricity. Depending on where you live, some fuel sources may be more expensive than others. When it comes to installation costs, electric heating systems are usually less expensive. However, oil and propane are more cost effective over time especially in areas were these fuel sources are easily accessible. Furnace heating systems are not as expensive compared to a geothermal system that requires extensive underground work. Repair jobs are also less invasive because most of the equipment is above ground. Some people have reservations about propane furnaces because propane is a combustible substance. However, safety regulations and guidelines for propane installations and usage have improved with new HVAC technology. They’re very safe for residential and business heating. While furnaces have become more energy efficient over the last few decades thanks to EPA regulations, they still don’t burn 100% of their fuel. This means you could be losing money every year in unprocessed fuel and heat loss. They also generate more emissions into the atmosphere.
For heating replacement in Midtown, you have several options to choose from. To determine which system is right your home and your budget, contact the HVAC professionals at Cool Air Mechanical for more information.