Cooperative Living April 2024 - 24

FIXER UPPER
1 unit of electricity
In My
Backyard?
Busting myths about
geothermal heat pumps
by Will Lange, Contributing Columnist
MYTH #1
YOU NEED A BUNCH
OF LAND
As someone once put it, " If you
have a lawn mower, then you can put
in a geo unit. "
With numerous options for the
geothermal underground loop systems,
that's true.
A vertical loop is often installed
under driveways or even 10-by-10-foot
patches of ground. There are many
other options including using an
existing water well, or a pond, or if you
have more than half an acre, a long
horizontal ditch is a great solution.
If you look up " ground heat exchanger
options " you will find a variety of
solutions that might work for you.
MYTH #2
IT ISN'T SAFE
Since geothermal heat pumps are
100% electrical, there is no combustion
of gas or oil in the home for heating.
So, there's no chance of smelly fumes,
explosions or carbon monoxide
poisoning. Because heat pumps are also
certified by independent laboratories,
they include safety cutoff switches for
every circuit in the system, further
enhancing safety.
MYTH #3
ELECTRIC HEAT IS EXPENSIVE
TO OPERATE
Some geosystems are installed with
electric strip heat for extreme cold
weather. And yes, that can add to your
electric bill. However, more commonly,
22 * Cooperative Living * April 2024
MYTH #4
IT'S TOO
EXPENSIVE TO INSTALL
Installing geothermal heating and
cooling for your home or building is
an investment.
A geothermal
underground loop
system that goes
into a nearby pond.
A long horizontal
ditch-type ground
heat exchanger.
4 units of " free "
energy from the
earth
5 units of
heating
delivered
into home.
modern systems are designed to
operate without backup heat all the way
down to extremely low temperatures.
And if your underground loop system
is sized right, no backup heat is needed
at all.
Geosystem owners quickly
realize their systems are saving them
so much money that they are
recouping their investments in 5-7
years. With tax credits and other
incentives, geo can even cost less than a
new boiler or HVAC system to install.
When you consider the loop will
generally outlive the homeowner
and the heat pump will deliver twice
the useful life of most alternatives,
geothermal makes for a much more
attractive investment.
*
co-opliving.com
http://www.co-opliving.com

Cooperative Living April 2024

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