Geothermal Heating & Cooling
How does Geothermal Energy heat and cool my home?
The main goal of a geothermal heating system is to take heat out of the earth to heat the home in the winter months and to take heat out of your home in order to cool it in the summer months.
The basic scientific principle behind geothermal energy is the fact that heat will always flow from an area that is hotter to an area that is cooler, but never the other way around. The earth acts as a giant solar collector and heat energy is naturally stored below the ground. With the simple help of a few pipes, a heat exchanger and a distribution system heating and cooling your house can be cost effective, safe, clean and reliable.
What are the Benefits of Geothermal Heating?
In comparison to an ordinary heating and air conditioning unit, a geothermal energy system delivers five units of energy per every one unit of electrical energy used. That’s a 500% efficiency rating! Many homeowners who combine stored earth energy with safe electric power see a savings of 70% for heating, cooling, and hot water.
New homeowners will be able to see an immediate return on investment and homeowners that invest in replacement installations see the investment recovered in a few years of energy savings.
Geothermal units are known for delivering a consistent, even flow of conditioned air throughout the home. Say goodbye to hot and cold spots – say hello to complete comfort. You will also have the freedom to enjoy your outdoor living space without the hum of a noisy heating or cooling unit. Geothermal units are installed indoors and are whisper quiet.
With a longer life cycle and less required maintenance, a geothermal energy system is a unit you can rely on. These units are also installed indoors which means they will be protected from inclement and harsh weather.
A geothermal system doesn’t run on fossil fuels, so you can rest easy knowing that toxic fumes aren’t entering your home.
You’ll be doing our part for the environment by installing a geothermal unit. The system emits no carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide or any other greenhouse gases.
A geothermal unit can be installed anywhere. Hot climates, cool climates, new homes or old homes – there’s an installation option for almost any application.
Geothermal vs. Ground Water vs. WaterFurnace
Geothermal energy has been used to heat and air condition buildings for several decades, and, during that time, these geothermal systems have been called many different names. Some of the more popular variations include geo-thermal, geoexchange, ground-water, ground-water assisted, ground-water-source, water-to-water, and even water furnace. WaterFurnace is a brand of geothermal units sold by The Hayter Group.
Why Invest in Geothermal?
Making the initial investment in a geothermal heating system can be a little overwhelming. However, if you consider the long-term investment you’re choice is simple. Here’s Why!
- Installation costs can be recovered within three to five years
- Many homeowners save up to 70% of their heating, cooling and hot water costs after installing Geothermal systems
- A geothermal system requires less maintenance and has a longer life cycle than an ordinary system
- With no fossil fuels involved in the heating process there is no chance of carbon-monoxide poisoning
- You’re doing your part for the environment by investing in an alternative energy source
Click here to use the WaterFurnace GeoThermal Savings Calculator, for an estimate of your potential annual energy cost savings.
Things to Consider
Are you an EXISTING HOME Owner/Buyer?
To Dig or Not to Dig?
One of the biggest challenges with adding a geothermal system to a home is that there are already a number of items buried and built on the land, such as: electrical and cable wires, water lines, sewer lines, septic fields, gas lines, trees and shrubs.
Before you decide on the details of your geothermal system it is wise to discuss with your contractor what types of equipment they are planning to use, where the best location for the loop is and whether there are any landscaping features you would like to keep in tact.
Is Your Current Electrical System and Duct-work Adequate?
Another question to ask is whether you will need to upgrade your distribution system or your electric panel. If you are replacing an electric heating system, your existing electric panel will probably be adequate. If you are replacing a fossil fuel furnace however, you may need to upgrade your service to accommodate the new geothermal system. This will especially be the case if you are installing an Auxiliary Heater.
Are you a NEW HOME Buyer?
If you’re considering geothermal energy heating and cooling for a newly built home, you should also be considering other energy efficient options to further reduce energy costs. Here is a list of design choices you may want to consider:
- The type and level of insulation in the walls, ceiling and floor
- The type of windows you choose and the direction they face
- How airtight your house is
- The ventilation system
- The types of appliances and lighting
- The landscaping around the house
By making your new home more energy efficient you can also reduce the size and cost of the geothermal system you will need.
Factors that Affect the Size of your Loop
Ground loops have to meet the needs of your home. Some of the factors that will affect the size of your ground loop include:
- Heating and cooling requirements of the home
- Moisture content and type of soil
- Depth at which the loop is buried
- Local climate
- Amount of snow covering the loop in the winter
- Size of the buried pipes and the distance between them
Choosing a Geothermal Distribution System
Geothermal units are now available for baseboard radiator systems, underfloor radiant applications or overfloor radiant applications. You can replace your gas fired boiler with geothermal and keep all the advantages of hydronic heating and in-floor heating.
The distribution system is an important component of your geothermal energy system. Without an adequate distribution system you may find that your home is not warm enough in the winter or cool enough in the summer. A poor distribution system will also place added stress on the heat pump.
Questions to ask about the design of your Distribution System:
- How were the duct sizes determined?
- Do they ensure adequate airflow to each room and for the system?
- How were the pipe sizes calculated?
Geothermal Tax Benefits for Farmers and Small Business Owners
In addition to long-term energy cost savings, farmers and small business owners can take advantage of accelerated depreciation on geothermal equipment.
The entire system qualifies for Class 43.2 Capital Cost Allowance (CCA). This allows you to write off 25% in year one and 50% of the declining balance in the following tax years.
The cost of the entire installation is eligible for Class 43.2 including drilling, geothermal loop and geothermal furnace. You can also write off radiant floor heat or duct-work, basically anything needed to get the system working.
Why Choose The Hayter Group?
Geothermal is a specialized field that requires an experienced contractor with licensed tradesmen. When making a sizeable investment in your home or business, you need a contractor with a quality reputation that will stand behind their work. You also need a company that can service your Geothermal unit over its’ lifetime.
There are only 462 companies in all of Canada registered with The Canadian GeoExchange Coalition (CGC). It is the only governing body that will work on your behalf if your geothermal system does not perform as it should down the road. The Hayter Group is amongst the largest geothermal contractors in Ontario. We service all of South-Western Ontario from our three strategic locations. We install geothermal systems in homes, barns and institutions, in both urban and rural locations.
If you’d like to find out if geothermal is a solution for your needs simply call us toll free at (877)429-8377. We will be pleased to visit you and provide a no-charge, no-obligation assessment of your heating and cooling needs.