Geothermal for heating and cooling is a great option for efficient and comfortable heating and cooling. One of the downsides to geothermal in the past was the considerable trenching and piping required for the horizontal underground closed loop system. Now with new technology that requires less surface area, companies like Dandelion Energy offer a one-stop geothermal option for Katahdin Cedar Log Home customers in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont.
What is Geothermal?
Unlike solar and wind power, geothermal offers a continuous supply of energy from the ground to provide both heating and cooling through super-efficient heat pumps. The earth’s constant temperatures of 55°Fahrenheit at ten feet below the surface provide the thermal energy that is tapped by a geothermal heat pump. You may be familiar with mini-split heat pumps, which also use the same technology. The difference is that the outside air tapped by mini-split heat pumps varies with the season and the weather. It’s the constant earth temperature that really boosts the overall efficiency for heating and cooling a home with geothermal.
How Does Geothermal Heating and Cooling Work?
Piping is laid in either horizontal trenches or a drilled vertical hole to create a ground loop. Dandelion Energy uses the more compact and less labor-intensive drilled vertical ground loop. For installation, one to two ground loop holes are drilled depending on the HVAC requirements for the home. The 6-inch diameter ground loop piping is inserted into the drilled holes and is filled with a refrigerant. This refrigerant circulates continuously through the ground and back through the two-stage heat pump unit. For heating, the geothermal energy is tapped to heat the air that is distributed through the home ducts and vents. In the summer, the process reverses and the heat pump removes warm air to cool your home.
Economics of Geothermal
Yes, geothermal can be an expensive investment in your home’s heating and cooling. But the upsides of cost savings, incentives and efficiency make geothermal a smart choice for the long term.
- Initial cost of Dandelion Energy System, including two stage water-to-air heat pump, drilling, materials, installation and permitting: $18,000- $20,000 after state and local incentives.
- Home Heating and Cooling costs average 47% lower than comparable fuel oil and electric HVAC according to Dandelion Energy. Annual costs for geothermal heating and cooling average $1,827.
- Durable, long-lasting system with 20 to 25-year average lifespan for water-to-air heat pumps, and 50+ years for ground loops.
- Low Maintenance means switching out air filters every six months.
- 10-year Product Warranty which includes a 3-year labor allowances package, and a 3-year workmanship warranty.
Pair with Solar for Energy Independence
Geothermal systems require electricity to operate the highly efficient two-stage heat pumps, so pairing a geothermal system with a solar array really makes a ton of sense. With a combination of solar and geothermal your annual heating cooling and energy costs will be locked in for the next 20+ years! Off-grid energy independence is possible with the addition of battery storage to the electric system.
Smart Technology Optimizes Efficiency
Dandelion Energy’s built-in performance monitoring system optimizes the heat pump operation and can flag any potential problems for proactive response and troubleshooting from the installer. The performance monitoring system pairs with an Ecobee Learning Thermostat to optimize the home’s specific heating and cooling needs and improve efficiency over time. The system is connected to the cloud via a cellular gateway with Wi-Fi back-up.
With fuel prices dependent on a host of outside factors, it makes sense to add efficient geothermal heating and cooling to your Katahdin Cedar Log Home.