Geothermal heat pumps are getting more and more popular. They are the most efficient form of heating and cooling available today, as well as being environmentally friendly, with a very low carbon footprint. But before installing one in your home or business, there are a few things to consider first. Here are some steps you should take before installing a geothermal heat pump.
Geothermal heat pumps are an excellent way to reduce your heating and cooling expenses while also going green with your overall energy usage. You’ve probably already begun looking into the best heat pump for you, the best ground loop for your house, and the cost of maakütte paigaldus (ground heating installation).
- The location for the installation is critical. First of all, it must be somewhere that has good soil temperatures. The ground temperature around the house will affect how much heat is extracted by the unit. If the ground gets too cold (below 50 degrees), then the unit won’t work efficiently, so make sure that the site is at least 45 degrees fahrenheit. You might want to consider placing the unit underground, if possible, to get an even better temperature.
- Check out the local zoning laws. It’s important to check out what restrictions may apply to where you can install your system, especially if you have neighbors who could potentially object to the installation. Some states require a permit to put in a geothermal system, while others do not. In Massachusetts, for example, there is no zoning restriction on geothermal systems, but the state does have a “green” building law which requires certain elements to be included in new construction for energy efficiency purposes.
- Consider what type of system would best serve your needs. There are basically two different types of geothermal units. One is called a closed loop system, and it relies on a well drilled into the earth to extract heat from the ground. This is considered a passive system, meaning that the temperature inside the unit doesn’t fluctuate during the day. A second type of system uses a fan to circulate air through a coil, extracting heat from the air itself. This is known as an active system. An active system can also provide both heating and cooling at the same time.
- Make sure the system is properly sized. Most systems come with a sizing guide, so you’ll need to use this to determine the proper size. However, as the system ages it will lose its efficiency, so you should always add more capacity after installation. When choosing the number of zones, keep in mind that the average household only uses about 10% of the total capacity.
- Decide whether you want to go with a gas-fired backup generator. Many people choose to purchase a backup generator when they install the geothermal system because it allows them to run their AC without worrying about power outages. However, the price tag on these units can be quite high. Another option is to buy a small diesel engine that runs off propane or natural gas. These engines typically cost less than $500.
- Look for rebates offered by your utility company. Your utility provider often offers incentives for installing geothermal systems. For instance, in California, PG&E offers a rebate of up to $15,000 for installing a geothermal system. In addition to rebates, utilities sometimes offer other benefits such as reduced rates for electricity produced by the system.
- Check out the return on investment. If you’re planning to install a geothermal system, it’s important to calculate the amount of money you’ll save over the course of the life of your system. Then, multiply that figure by the cost of the system to determine the financial impact.
- Get estimates from reputable contractors and companies. Although this article provides some general information about geothermal systems, you’ll definitely want to talk to a professional installer to ensure that the system you install is going to provide the performance you expect.
- Find out how long the warranty lasts. Geothermal systems tend to last longer than traditional forms of heating and cooling, and are very durable. However, warranties vary greatly from company to company. Ask questions about what parts are covered under the warranty, and how long it lasts.
- Consider whether your insurance will cover the system. Insurance policies vary widely, and many companies don’t insure geothermal systems. As a result, homeowners must pay out of pocket for repairs. Even if your policy covers geothermal systems, the deductible may be quite high.
- Be aware of any potential maintenance issues. Geothermal systems tend to operate quietly, so little noise may escape from your house. However, if you have noisy appliances in close proximity to your system, you may encounter problems with sound. Also, if you live in a coastal area, saltwater intrusion can cause expensive damage to your system.
- Review the terms of service agreement carefully. Most companies offer standard contracts that outline the scope of work and guarantee the quality of the product. However, you should read the fine print carefully to see what conditions might apply to the sale of the system.
- Understand what happens if you move. Many companies charge additional fees if you decide to sell your home within a specified period of time. In addition, they may ask for permission to enter your property to inspect the system.
- Think about the future. Once installed, a geothermal system may not provide the same level of savings year after year. You may find that the unit becomes inefficient over time due to normal wear and tear, or you may discover that your climate changes and affects the efficiency of the unit.
If you follow these tips, you’re likely to come out ahead when deciding whether to install a geothermal heat pump.