Myth #1: Geothermal Systems Can only Heat Homes, Not Cool Them
Just like a fridge, a geothermal system moves heat from one place to another, filling a deficit. In the winter, your geothermal system will pull warmth stored underground and return it to your home. To cool your home, the heat-exchange process is reversed. In the summer, warm air is moved from your home and stowed underground. It is replaced with air cooled by cooled water circulating in the ground loops of the geothermal system.
Myth #2: Geothermal Systems Don’t Work in Cooler Climates
Certainly a point of concern in Cache Valley, many people are worried that geothermal systems can only operate properly in warm climates. The truth is that if they’re properly sized and installed, these systems have no trouble producing heat in colder climates because they pull heat from below the ground, which maintains a consistent temperature all year. The temperature beneath the surface is higher than winter averages and lower than summer’s usual numbers.
Myth #3: Geothermal Systems are Not as Eco-Friendly as They Seem
Because geothermal systems use electricity, some people cry foul on their claim to be environmentally friendly. The truth of the matter is that these systems have a highly efficient exchange rate when it comes to energy. Most systems generate three to six units of energy for every one that they consume.
We have also come a long way in designing geothermal systems so they no longer waste water. All of the water used in the heating exchange process is returned to the system’s aquifer. Those who worry that geothermal systems require fracking should know that because they replace traditional HVAC systems which require fossil fuels, systems of geothermal design actually decrease the need for ecologically irresponsible drilling.
Myth #4: You Must Have a Big Yard to Install a Geothermal System
This can be true, but living on a smaller plot does not exclude you from installing a geothermal system. The ground loop component can be installed vertically or horizontally. A horizontal loop does require a lot of space, but vertical loops run deep as opposed to wide, so they take up very little square footage as we define it. While horizontal ground loops utilize an extensive network of 6-10 feet deep trenches, vertical systems use hole(s) only 5 to 6 inches wide and 200 to 600 feet deep, making systems with vertical ground loops much more suited for suburban or urban homes.
Myth #5: Geothermal Systems Are Too Expensive
The idea that geothermal systems for heating and cooling are only for the wealthy is a thing of the past. Historic installation processes have been streamlined to mitigate redundant installation costs, and tax incentives on local, state, and federal levels are helping to make geothermal systems more affordable. It is also important to consider that though geothermal systems have an initial cost, they are an investment which incurs long-term savings, both financial and environmental. A well-installed geothermal system has the potential to save you as much as 40-60% on your utility bills.
Myth #6: Geothermal Systems Are Loud
Most geothermal heat pumps are significantly quieter than traditional HVAC equipment since there is no outdoor mechanism. You will feel, not hear, your system kick on.
Myth #7: Maintaining a Geothermal System is Complicated
Geothermal systems require less maintenance than traditional HVAC systems and are more reliable in the first place. The main elements of geothermal systems are protected inside or underground where elemental damage is not a threat, so unless there is an obvious problem, we recommend having your geothermal system professionally inspected every five years. For optimal performance, change out the air filters regularly (every three to six months) just as you would for a traditional HVAC system.
Myth #8: Geothermal Systems Can’t be Added to an Existing Home
It’s never too late to start reducing your carbon footprint. Even our professional installers agree. If your home has an existing ductwork system, our geothermal system can connect directly to it to distribute and redistribute heat. Contact our Cache Valley Heating and Air team to see if your property is right for a geothermal system.