What are the benefits of a geothermal heating system?

red truck drilling for a geothermal system outside a home

Choosing a Geothermal Heating System

Like homeowners everywhere, here in Mills River, North Carolina area, we look for ways to cool and heat our homes efficiently. The summers are beautiful and fun in this coastal area, but the winters can be brutally cold too. And geothermal heating systems have become a more popular way to keep comfortable at an affordable price. 

But what is geothermal heating exactly?  A geothermal heating system also works as a cooling system too. It is an energy-efficient system that utilizes the natural stable ground temperature to warm your home in the winter and cool your home in the summer. A geothermal heating system is an energy-efficient solution with the system itself in the ground with a heat pump in your basement or garage.

The pipes of the geothermal heat system are buried approximately 300 feet, where they will absorb the ground’s temperature that the sun has heated up. A liquid in the pipes then takes that heat and distributes it throughout your home through vents as a standard HVAC system would.

Can you cool your house with geothermal systems? 

Yes, during the summer, that liquid is cooled below the surface and then sends the cooled air through your home. So, how much land do you need for geothermal? This is always a concern for any homeowner, nobody wants their entire lawn dedicated to cooling and heating their home!  

And it doesn’t take much space either! So, how deep do you dig for geothermal heating? A geothermal heating system installation requires a four to six-inch diameter wide area where a three to 500-foot loop will be installed down below the surface. Like other means for power development, geothermal does need to produce and develop too. The plants for geothermal heating systems don’t use as much land as coal and nuclear power plants and what land they do use, the environmental impact is minimal.

What are the benefits of geothermal heating?

Like any new technology, the upfront cost is usually the worse part, and a geothermal heating system isn’t any different. But once you get past that initial cost, you can expect the following benefits: 

  • Eco-Friendly: A geothermal heating system is an environmentally friendly way to heat your home because it doesn’t produce carbon monoxide or any greenhouse gasses, minimizing your contribution to air pollution and your carbon footprint.
  • Affordable Operation: Once your geothermal heating system is installed, you’ll start saving money with the operation of the system thanks to the technology used. A geothermal heating system offers a 400% efficiency rating and creates four units of energy for every unit of energy that is electrically produced. Because it doesn’t burn fuel to create heat, it transfers heat from the earth. Homeowners have seen savings of up to seventy percent on utilities!
  • Cash Flow: With a geothermal heating system, it will be paying for itself over a 3 to 5-year period. When you consider the government tax credits, you could see a positive cash flow sooner than that! 
  • Lifespan Cost: Is geothermal better than the standard HVAC system? Yes, starting with a longer lifespan. The standard HVAC system typically needs replacing within 15 years or sooner, depending on the quality of the equipment and the maintenance schedule. In comparison, how long does a geothermal system last? With a geothermal heating system, because they aren’t exposed to the climate and environment outside, like ice, rain, and snow, they will last longer. The indoor components consist of a compressor, fan, and pump that have a lifespan of 10 years or more and the underground portion can last for generations. 
  • Quiet Operation: A geothermal heating system doesn’t have any outdoor condensing unit, and the indoor components operate quietly.
  • Safety: Geothermal heating systems are safe, are clean to operate because there isn’t any combustion involved in the operation. No fear of carbon monoxide poisoning with this renewable energy way of heating your home. 
  • Increased Comfort: A geothermal heating system offers air purification and dehumidification, improving the air quality of your home. Because it isn’t recycling the air, there are fewer concerns or threats to your home’s indoor air quality.

Will a geothermal heating system raise my heating bill?

Because of the electric usage with a geothermal heating system, there is a concern the electrical bill will increase. The electric bill will be less in the summer months for cooling, which will balance out the electrical cost during the winter. 

At what temperature does geothermal keep your house?

It will keep your home toasty warm in the winter because it is not pulling in the cold air and heating it like a heat pump system. It is pulling the heat from the core of the earth where it stays hot constantly!  Set your winter thermostat to a warm 72 degrees and you’ll have a warm 72-degree home! 

close-up of a truck drilling for a geothermal heating system

So – At the End Of The Day 

Is a geothermal system worth it? Well, that will be your decision to make when it comes down to it, but we can tell you that you can save money on your energy bills with a geothermal heating system. You’ll have an upfront out-of-pocket expense, but the payback of lower bills will offset that quickly!