Posted: June 15, 2019 at 10:00am
By: Lakes Region HVAC
Homeowners in New Hampshire no longer need to worry about the fluctuating prices of heating oil and natural gas. Geothermal heating and cooling systems—also called geo-exchange or ground-source heat pump systems—are seeing a rise in North America as homeowners, businesses, and municipalities are warming up to the benefits of geothermal technology.
A recent report by The NEWS, an HVAC industry newsletter published since 1926, announced the global geothermal market is forecasted to reach $4 billion by 2024. Steve Smith, CEO of Enertech Global, a dedicated geothermal systems distribution company located in Greenville, IL, told The NEWS: "Home and building owners recognize there are more benefits to geothermal heat pumps than cost savings, like superior comfort, cleaner air, no outdoor unit, low maintenance, most environmentally friendly, etc."
State and federal energy agencies are also noticing the cost-savings and eco-friendly benefits of geothermal heating, cooling, and water heating. Homeowners in New Hampshire are eligible for a variety of tax incentives and rebates to install new ground-source heat pumps (GSHPs) in their homes.
This article offers an easy-to-understand explanation of how geothermal HVAC works and how it saves homeowners and business owners money.
The term “geothermal” may sound space age, but the system works on well-proven, easy-to-understand concepts. In fact, Prince Piero Ginori Conti first proved the viability of geothermal power plant technology in 1904, according to the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA). In 1948, Carl Nielsen, a professor at Ohio State University, developed the first groundwater heat pump for residential use. In fact, he used it at his residence!
The most common type of geothermal system used in New Hampshire is an open-loop system, according to the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. In an open-loop geothermal system, groundwater is used as the heat-transfer fluid. The groundwater is pumped out of a well and re-injected into the same or another dedicated well. In between, a heat pump either extracts heat from or transfers heat into the water.
The other option, a closed-loop geothermal system, uses an antifreeze solution as the heat-transfer fluid. The solution is continually circulated through the system to absorb or transfer heat through underground piping.
Ground-source heat pumps (GSHPs) are considered the most efficient type of heat pump, according to the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC). On average, energy-efficient GSHPs use 1 unit of electricity to move up to 5 units of heating or cooling into a building, according to National Geographic.
Geothermal HVAC systems do not burn fossil fuel. Homeowners can expect efficiencies between 300% and 600% on New Hampshire winter nights, according to the Energy Informative nonprofit.
In terms of dollar and cents, expect to save up to 70% on heating costs and up to 50% on cooling costs by using geothermal technology instead of conventional HVAC systems, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Today’s ENERGY STAR®-rated geothermal HVAC systems are “extremely reliable and seldom need repairs,” according to the Energy Informative. Manufacturers seem to agree, as warranties on the underground piping can be as long as 50 years, and heat pump warranties are typically 25 years, according to the nonprofit.
New Hampshire homeowners have the advantage of NHSaves, a collaboration of the state’s electric and natural gas utilities providing information, incentives, and support designed to help people save energy, reduce costs, and protect the environment.
If you’re a customer of Eversource, New Hampshire Electric Co-op, Liberty Utilities, or Unitil, go to nhsaves.com to find the tax incentives and rebates that can save you money on your new energy-efficient geothermal HVAC system.
Consumers can expect a return on their investment in a geothermal HVAC systems in 5 to 7 years, based on research and analysis by the Energy Informative.
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