A new industry is slowly becoming a reality. Ground-source heat pumps allow a homeowner to heat and cool the home, as well as provide hot water, without burning a fossil fuel. The practice involves capturing a small amount of heat from the first three hundred feet of the earth’s crust. This layer stays at a relatively constant temperature year round.
The two most common ways of capturing this heat is either by way of trenching — or drilling vertical “heat pump” borings called “loops.” During the winter months the system warms the home and during the summer months, the heat pump will run in reverse to cool the home. When the initial installation is complete the system works with very little maintenance.
The working parts are the water circulation pump and the central air and heating system; electricity is required for these two components. If the home has been equipped with a solar photovoltaic system and high efficiency insulation, the utility bills are nearly nil.
Three types of contractor are required to install the heat pump system. The drilling contractor to drill the small diameter borings and install the 3/4”-1” loops; a 1500sf home would require 2-3 “loops” at a depth of about 300ft. the number of “loops” will vary with the local geology and the size of the home. The “connection” of the loops follows the completion of drilling and is performed by a plumbing, heating, and air conditioning (HVAC) or building contractor.
This new industry is one of a group of “Green” or alternative energy sources. Only until December 31, 2016, homeowners who install geothermal heating and cooling systems that meet Energy Star requirements are eligible for a 30% federal TAX REBATE of the cost of the system including labor. There may also be various state and/or local credits or incentives.
In the past most homes are heated throughout the US with oil, coal, electricity, firewood, or natural gas; natural gas being the cleanest. Natural gas is being used as a replacement for coal fired power plants and limited vehicle fuel. With a greater understanding of what Geothermal is and the process, more people can speed up the reality of this industry.
Our company has been involved in several projects that combine most or all of the existing alternative technologies. Our lobbying efforts for both tax credits for the consumer and the processes of installation have included federal, state, and local legislative bodies. We can make your project a success.