Geothermal heating and cooling is a relatively unconventional way of keeping your home comfortable. With this technology not being common knowledge, it’s not difficult for homeowners to fall victim to geothermal myths that simply aren’t true. Here are some of the more common geothermal myths:

  • Myth: Since geothermal systems use electricity, they aren’t renewable.
  • Fact: They’re pretty close, only consuming one unit of electricity for up to five units of heat energy they move, making them incredibly eco-friendly. They’re also very efficient at cooling, more so than conventional A/Cs and heat pumps.
  • Myth: Solar panels and wind power are more desirable ways to generate energy.
  • Fact: These technologies play an important role in decreasing fossil fuel dependency, but geothermal is often a more cost-effective option.
  • Myth: You need a huge plot of land to utilize geothermal.
  • Fact: With the option to bury ground loops vertically, very little surface area is required to install a geothermal system.
  • Myth: Geothermal heat pumps operate loudly.
  • Fact: The indoor portion runs almost noiselessly and unlike air conditioners and air-source heat pumps, there’s no outdoor component to irritate your neighbors.
  • Myth: The system wears out quickly.
  • Fact: The underground portion can last for generations. With regular maintenance, the heat pump itself lasts longer than traditional equipment because its indoor location shelters it from the elements.
  • Myth: Geothermal systems only provide heating.
  • Fact: The unit can work in reverse to cool your home as well.
  • Myth: You can only heat the home or hot water individually.
  • Fact: Geothermal heat pumps can be designed to handle multiple loads at the same time.
  • Myth: The underground loop dumps refrigerant into the ground.
  • Fact: Most systems only use a water/anti-freeze mix in the underground loops. Those with refrigerant are closed-loop systems, which contain and prevent the refrigerant from seeping into the earth.
  • Myth: Geothermal heat pumps are too expensive.
  • Fact: Federal tax credits cover 30 percent of the cost with no upper limit on installations through December 2016, making qualifying systems more financially viable. The operating costs also are much less than standard HVAC systems, so cost savings accrue over time.

If you found these geothermal myths informative, please contact us at Stack Heating & Cooling in Northeast Ohio to learn more.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about geothermal and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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