March 16, 2021
Energy Efficiency

When you’re deciding how to heat your Chesapeake home, efficiency is an important consideration. If you can find an efficient heating option, you’ll be able to save a lot of money on your utility bill while still keeping your home comfortable. One option that’s generally considered the most efficient is geothermal heating. Is geothermal heating from Simmons Heating & Cooling really that much of an improvement, though? To learn whether a geothermal system is worth the investment, check out this introductory guide.

How Does a Geothermal System Work?

A geothermal system taps into the significant thermal energy that’s present underground. To do this, a geothermal system, also known as a ground-source heat pump, uses a long metal tube that is buried underground and is filled with refrigerant. A compressor lowers the temperature of the refrigerant so that it can absorb heat from the surrounding soil. This refrigerant then makes its way into your home, where the heat is transferred to a heat exchanger. A fan blows air over the heat exchanger and sends the heated air through ducts that go to the different rooms in your home.

Average Ground Temperature

Although the top layer of soil in your backyard changes temperature fairly rapidly, the temperature of the soil just a few feet down stays at a fairly constant temperature year-round. Even if the air is frigid, it will only lower the temperature of the first few feet of soil.

To provide year-round comfort, the refrigerant line in a geothermal system from Simmons Heating & Cooling is buried in the layer of soil where the temperature is constant. This means that your system can always pull heat from the ground in the winter and expel heat into the ground in the summer. This makes for a very efficient way to heat and cool your home. In fact, many geothermal systems are up to 400% efficient, meaning they produce four times as much energy as they use.

Quiet and Simple

Unlike other types of heating systems, a geothermal heating system is exceptionally quiet and simple. When the system is running, the sound you’re most likely to notice is the sound of the air moving through your ducts. Since a ground-source heat pump doesn’t have to use electricity or gas to create heat, you don’t get a lot of the mechanical sounds that are often associated with an HVAC system. Plus, without heating elements or burners, the indoor components of a geothermal system from Simmons Heating & Cooling are quite simple, meaning that you can install them just about anywhere.

Long-Lasting Value

The simple operation of a geothermal system has another advantage: less stress on the equipment. Although these systems require maintenance from Simmons Heating & Cooling just like any other HVAC equipment, they tend to last much longer than typical HVAC equipment given the same level of maintenance. The indoor portion of a ground-source heat pump is often rated to last at least 25 years, which is many years longer than a typical furnace.

Plus, the underground refrigerant line will typically last for 50 years or more, meaning that you’re unlikely to need to replace it in your lifetime. When you divide the initial and ongoing costs of a geothermal system over its expected lifetime, the annual cost is typically much lower than other heating options.

Expert Installation Required

There is no room for error when installing a ground-source heat pump. The underground pipes must be carefully buried at the correct depth while avoiding any other underground service lines. Additionally, the system needs to be properly tuned to ensure that the compressor and condenser produce the correct pressures in the refrigerant so that the refrigerant can effectively move heat from place to place.

That’s why it’s important to do research into local HVAC contractors before you install a new geothermal system. There are many good HVAC companies that don’t have the experience or tools necessary to install a geothermal system, meaning that you need to be especially careful if this is the option you choose to keep your home comfortable.

Taking Home Comfort to the Next Level

At Simmons Heating & Cooling, we’ve been taking care of our Chesapeake customers with expert service for over 55 years. During that time, we’ve learned a lot about the latest in HVAC technology. That’s why we’re able to install geothermal systems, repair traditional air conditioners and furnaces, install and repair generators, and install water heaters. With an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, you can be sure that we’ll stand behind the work we perform. To learn more about geothermal systems, contact us at Simmons Heating & Cooling today.

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