Geothermal Energy: How Does 'Free' Sound?

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October 4, 2012

Heating and Air Conditioning Fort Wayne Indiana

Geothermal Energy: How Does 'Free' Sound?Geothermal energy is heat within the Earth, contained in the ground, rock or water. Tapping into this heat gives you a cheaper and more environmentally friendly way to heat and cool your home than by using conventional means.

A geothermal heat pump (GHP) is one of the most effective ways to make use of the Earth as a natural, free source of energy. The most common type of GHP, the ground-source heat pump system, uses a vertical or horizontal loop system buried in the ground to extract heat from the ground, or release it there during the cooling season.

In Indiana, the ground temperature is around a constant 52 degrees year round. That's warmer than the air in winter, yet cooler than the air in summer. This fact allows geothermal systems to work so efficiently. In winter, the heat pump draws warmth from the ground, and using a water/antifreeze mixture running through the buried loops, brings it into the home to create heat. In summer, the heat pump pulls warmth from your home, like any basic heat pump, and transfers it outside where it's deposited in the ground. The system can also be configured to use excess indoor heat to warm your water, so you'll have free hot water all summer.

GHP systems use 25 to 50 percent less electricity than traditional heating or cooling systems, according to the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Star program. This greater energy efficiency saves you money on your electricity bills and helps you do your part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As an added bonus, GHP systems also control indoor humidity, which improves their efficiency and makes Indiana's humid summers more bearable, too.

A geothermal heat pump system can be installed in a new construction or retrofitted on an existing one. The downside is that GHP systems cost significantly more than traditional cooling and heating systems. The good news is that the federal government offers a 30 percent energy tax credit for qualified geothermal installations, available through 2016. There's no upward cap on the amount you can claim.

If you're thinking about using geothermal energy to heat and cool your Fort Wayne area home, talk with the professionals at Hartman Brothers Heating & Air Conditioning for friendly, expert guidance.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in New Haven, Indiana and surrounding Fort Wayne area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about geothermal energy and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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New Haven , indiana , Heat Pump , Geothermal Energy , environmentally , cheaper , conventional

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