Occasionally, we get inquiries on geothermal HVAC systems, either for new residential construction or a retrofit to existing air-cooled equipment. The manufacturers’ literature on these systems touts very high efficiency levels and long equipment life. These benefits can be achieved through a well-executed installation. However, recent drilling costs, complexities and space for well fields have become issues for installation. As a company, Efficient AC, Electric & Plumbing is happy to maintain, repair or replace any existing geothermal system; however we no longer handle new installations or retrofits from air-cooled equipment.
If you already have a well-designed geothermal loop and system with older equipment, maintaining the existing system and replacing machines when needed is typically the best option for continued heating and cooling performance.
The landscape of available equipment in the entire HVAC market has changed rapidly over the last decade. The current, more conventional systems, including standard residential split systems, have very high efficiencies and low operating costs. There are numerous brands of variable refrigerant systems – variable refrigerant flow (VRF) and variable refrigerant volume (VRV), which are essentially the same technology available, such as Toshiba/Carrier, Daikin, Mitsubishi, LG, Samsung and others. These solutions will come close to the practical utility cost of running a geothermal system with lower installation, maintenance and replacement cost. The remainder of this article will cover the considerations and benefits of geothermal systems.
How Geothermal Heating/Cooling Systems Work
Geothermal systems use small amounts of electricity to transfer heat to and from the earth to your home. They do this transfer through underground pipes, which are collectively referred to as a “loop.” Water circulates through the loop, carrying heat to and from an indoor heat pump. In the cooler months, the water absorbs the earth’s heat, and the loop carries it to the heat pump so it can be used to heat your home.
In the warmer months, the system extracts the heat from your home and deposits it into the ground. The ground cools the water and carries it back to the heat pump, so it can be used to air condition your home.
During the cooling cycle, your geothermal system can also store enough heat to efficiently produce some or all of your hot water – for free. It does this by taking the heat it removes from your home and delivering it to a heater instead of depositing it in the ground.
Geothermal vs. Conventional Equipment
If your existing geothermal system needs to be maintained, repaired or replaced, we can help. If you don’t currently have geothermal and are looking to retrofit your property with a high efficiency system, we can help you identify the best fit for your needs and budget. Call us at 512-501-2275 or fill out our form to schedule a service call or complimentary replacement consultation.
“Every contact with an employee of Efficient was outstanding. They were on time, knowledgeable, professional and cared about my issue. From the in-home sales meeting, to the installation (including another person who came to check their work!), to registering my products and following up to see if I was happy – they exceeded every expectation.”
“Feel so fortunate to have picked Efficient Air off the authorized dealer list to install our [new system]. Everyone we dealt with was exceptional! From the first phone call to the install, everyone impressed. We know who we’ll call to replace our next unit and service our Central AC system in the future.”