Des Moines, IA summers can be hot, but that should come as no surprise. A geothermal cooling system may be just the perfect solution for your home, as it provides many benefits in terms of its efficiency, low maintenance requirements, and cost savings over time. Most importantly, the energy it extracts from the earth is harnessed to keep you nice and cool during the summer!
Save Money with Geothermal
Compared to conventional methods of heating and cooling, Geothermal Comfort Systems save owners money. Based on lower utility bills, these systems usually pay for themselves after 5-10 years. The average household savings is $129 a month, as much as 70%. The total energy consumption can be reduced as much as 44%.
Geothermal heating and cooling systems tap into the renewable energy beneath the Earth’s surface to heat and cool your home or business. The underground water pipes harness the earth’s temperature to save you up to 70% on your utility bills when compared to a conventional system. Instead of burning expensive fossil fuels, a ground source heat pump is able to extract its energy from the earth, magnify it, and release it to heat your home in the winter.
During hot, Des Moines, IA summers, a geothermal system only has to work as hard as your AC would if it were 58 degrees outside, and that is quite an energy savings! Geothermal systems are truly the future of heating and cooling systems.
Geothermal Heat Pump and Geothermal System
A geothermal heat pump is composed of loops of buried pipes that change function depending on the season. In colder months, heat from the ground is pulled into homes and circulated through a duct system. The system reverses in warmer months; a home’s heat is picked up by the circulating fluids inside the pipes and transferred into the Earth. With a heat pump, an air delivery system uses ducts and a heat exchanger buried in the ground to transfer this heat. A geothermal system is made up of an indoor handling unit, underground pipes (called an ‘Earth loop’), and a pump to reinjection well. The pipes in this system are composed of polyethylene and can be buried vertically or horizontally depending on your space requirements.
If an aquifer is available, you also have the option to design an ‘open loop’ system. ‘Open loop’ means a well is drilled into the underground water. Water is pumped up, runs past a heat exchanger and returns to the same aquifer through reinjection. A geothermal heating and cooling system is composed of the heat-pump unit, a liquid heat-exchanger medium, and an air-delivery system (ductwork) or radiant heating.
Advantages of Geothermal Energy
If you’re looking into geothermal heating and cooling or geothermal energy for electrical appliances, keep in mind that it doesn’t involve any form of combustion. This is one of the best advantages of geothermal energy! Geothermal has less greenhouse gas emissions, and binary geothermal power plants release NO greenhouse gases. Geothermal power plants generate 1/8th of the CO2 emissions associated with typical coal power plants.
The geothermal heat pumps used for heating and cooling are also considered one of the most efficient options available. This status is due to their low electricity requirement (electricity is only used to operate the unit’s fan, compressor, and pump). Plus, geothermal energy has a small land-use footprint, producing huge amounts of electricity without taking up much space. Even the United States Environmental Protection Agency agrees that geothermal heating and cooling is the most environmentally safe and cost-effective option on the market.
Utility Bill Savings
There is a high up-front cost for geothermal energy systems, mostly due to the expensive buried loop systems that are required. However, this initial cost is offset by the savings homeowners receive in the long run.
That’s because once the system is running, utility bills can decrease by up to 50%. This is why cost-saving is perhaps the most popular advantage of geothermal energy. With a geothermal system, homeowners can see cost-savings of between 30%-60% on heating, and 25%-50% on cooling. These savings can cover the initial cost within three years. Furthermore, lower maintenance costs means a geothermal system can be installed and then left alone for years afterward.
To alleviate the initial “sticker shock” and financial strain that accompanies most geothermal system installations, many institutions often tie the upfront cost of installation to monthly mortgage remittances or other interest financing options.
For example, a 2,000 square-foot home can be heated and cooled for as little as $1/day with a geothermal system. Plus, geothermal systems can have bet set up to supplement a home’s conventional water heater, providing additional savings of up to 30% on hot-water costs, every year.
And with a simple modification, homeowners can have their geothermal systems generating some, if not all, of their hot water. This is because hot water is stored in your water heater for later use, and heat extracted from the building is sent to the water heater during the cooling cycle. This savings calculator tells you how much you can expect to save by switching to geothermal energy.
Our team of geothermal system installers is trained to install geothermal heating and cooling systems for homes and businesses in and around Des Moines, Johnston, Cedar Rapids, and Iowa City. Whether you’re interested in geothermal as a way to save money, protect the environment or both, contact Schaal Plumbing, Heating & Cooling for information on geothermal heating and cooling system installation in Des Moines, IA today.