How Much Money can Geothermal Cooling Save on my AC Bills?
Your home’s energy costs can be prohibitive, especially during the heat of our Florida summers. Keeping your home comfortable can be expensive and frustrating, but the HVAC industry has been working on improved efficiency levels and environmentally friendly solutions to home comfort for years. Geothermal cooling and heating with a heat pump based on the earth’s soil or water for heat exchange is one such solution, providing the ability to increase energy efficiency while saving significantly on home energy costs.
How Does a Geothermal Heat Pump Save Money?
A geothermal system is designed with greater efficiency levels than those of traditional electric heat pumps. One of the primary reasons for improved efficiency is the use of ground sources to facilitate the heat exchange needed for heating and cooling to occur. As refrigerant moves through the coils of a heat pump, it is compressed to become hot and expanded to become cold. The energy exchange with the surrounding air affects the efficiency of the heating or cooling of your home.
Because ground sources like the earth’s soil and water are less extreme in temperature than the air above the ground, the ability for a heat pump to operate efficiently is enhanced by placement of refrigerant coils in these ground source settings. The temperature of the earth enhances heat pump performance, allowing a geothermal system to reach efficiency levels of 300 to 600 percent on cold winter nights. Air-source systems, on the other hand, only reach efficiency levels of up to 250 percent on chilly winter days.
While electricity is required for the operation of a geothermal system, you can expect to use 25 to 50 percent less than with your conventional heat pump. Energy consumption and emissions can be reduced by approximately 44 percent. You can also benefit from better control of indoor humidity levels.
Installation of Geothermal Equipment
Although the operating costs for ground-source heat pumps can be markedly better, it’s important to realize that such systems are more expensive to purchase and install. It’s necessary to have adequate land available for ground coils. There are different loop systems available, and some are more cost-effective than others. Deep trenches are required for systems that will be installed in the soil. A water source for heat exchange can be less expensive to install, but the water body must be big enough and deep enough for coils to be protected from freezing.
Savings on Your Geothermal Equipment
There are some incentives that can defray costs of purchasing and installing a geothermal heat pump. For example, there are federal tax credit options available through 2016. You may be eligible to receive a credit of 30 percent for your equipment. Additionally, you can explore utility rebates and other incentive programs related to renewable resources. It’s helpful to recognize that your environmentally friendly system can last up to 25 years, and you can expect to recover your investment through energy bill savings in five to 10 years.
Jacksonville Beach, FL residents can especially benefit from geothermal cooling during our hot and humid summers. Merritt Heating & Air Conditioning can evaluate whether geothermal equipment is right for your home, and we can help you explore financing and savings options available. Please give us a call for additional information.