Geothermal HVAC systems offer a remarkable level of energy efficiency, and they last considerably longer than traditional HVAC systems do. Despite these facts, some persistent myths and misinformation keep quite a few people from installing such systems around their homes and reaping their benefits. To help you see whether a geothermal system might be right for your home in Lusby, MD, we’ll do away with five of the more prevalent myths.
1. Geothermal Systems Require a Lot of Surrounding Land
There are four basic types of geothermal HVAC systems: horizontal, vertical, pond/lake and open-loop. These terms refer to the layout and distribution of the underground pipe network that the system uses.
It’s true that a horizontal or standard pond/lake system may use a great many horizontally arranged circular loops in its pipe network, and these may require installation crews to dig up quite a wide surface area of land. However, if you don’t have enough land around you for this purpose, you can always get around the problem by installing a vertical pipe network. Instead of spreading out widely, the pipes in a vertical system travel deeper beneath the surface of the earth.
2. They Put Refrigerant Into the Ground
The concern here is that geothermal systems’ underground pipe networks circulate refrigerant back and forth, meaning that any potential refrigerant leak would have devastating consequences for the quality of the surrounding soil, plant life and animal life. Happily, this fear is entirely without foundation.
Geothermal underground pipe networks don’t contain any refrigerant. Instead, they use either water alone or a water and coolant solution. Refrigerant circulates only around your indoor heat pump. Thus, pipe leaks, while problematic, would not poison the surrounding soil.
3. They Only Work in the South
The source of this myth is a misconception about what the climate is like a few feet below the surface of the earth. Installation teams typically bury the pipe networks that geothermal systems use about 10 feet underground. At that depth, the temperature is constant and moderate year-round, and it remains moderate, provided you are not near either of the earth’s poles.
Constant and moderate temperatures are what allow geothermal systems to use less energy both when heating in the fall or winter and cooling in the summer. The climate that prevails above ground shouldn’t worry you because the underground temperature in most areas is about 55 degrees Fahrenheit year-round.
4. Geothermal Units Doesn’t Last Very Long
This is utterly false. The indoor equipment that a geothermal HVAC system uses lasts, on average, about 25 years before requiring replacement. The underground infrastructure can easily function well for 50 years or more. This compares very favorably to the 15-year average life span of an ordinary air-source heat pump.
5. Geothermal Systems Are Expensive
This claim is partially true since geothermal systems do bring significant up-front installation costs with them. However, that’s only a superficial view that doesn’t take into account the possible long-term savings.
Various sources estimate that using a geothermal HVAC system may save you as much as 50% on your cooling bills and 70% on your heating bills. Combined with the significant longevity that such a system possesses, it should eventually more than pay for itself. You just need to remember to schedule regular preventive maintenance.
Moreover, federal tax incentives in place until 2032 state that anyone who purchases a geothermal HVAC system in the United States will receive an income tax credit equal to 30% of the cost of the system. After 2032, the federal tax credit will fall to 26%; after 2034, it will fall again to 22%.
Geothermal HVAC systems are potent, capable and remarkably efficient tools for indoor comfort. If you’re thinking about installing a geothermal system at your home in Lusby, MD, call our experts at Hancock Refrigeration, Heating & Air Conditioning today to learn more about our geothermal services.
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