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Frequently Asked Questions About Geothermal

Do you have questions? We're here to answer them.

What are ground source heat pumps?

Ground source heat pumps, also known as geothermal heating and cooling, use the stored solar energy (ground source energy) underground to efficiently heat and cool homes and buildings. The heat pump is a critical component of the geothermal system, which is made of of two parts primarily: the ground source heat pump that sites inside your home, and the ground loop field buried outside.

See how geothermal works

Can you combine solar and geothermal?

A solar PV array is the perfect match for a geothermal heating and cooling system. Since less electricity is needed to power geothermal, a solar PV array can cover the heating and cooling energy load, as well as the entire house’s energy load if sized correctly.

Learn more about the power of solar PV and geothermal.

How does geothermal distribute heating and cooling?
Using two common methods, forced air and radiant, heat can be brought into the home or building or removed. For existing homes, forced air is typically used. The air is pulled in using a blower, and once heated or cooled, the air is pushed back into the structure, utilizing current or updated ductwork. The other method, radiant heating, disperses heat through hot water-filled pipes under the floor. This technique eliminates cold spots throughout and creates an environment that evenly disperses the heat, creating what's known as the most comfortable heating option.
Can a geothermal heat pump be used to heat my pool?

Yes! Year-round heating is available for your pool through the use of a geothermal heat pump. This is the most efficient way to keep your pool comfortable, no matter the temperature.

Can geothermal replace natural gas, propane, and other types of traditional HVAC?

Of course! There are different options for geothermal installations when replacing an existing HVAC system. Normally, the geothermal system will completely replace your current system, bringing exposed equipment into a mechanical room, attic, or closet. Ground loops will need to be installed underground for any geothermal system.

If you're concerned with limited indoor space, a split system may be an option. Like a traditional system, part of the new geothermal unit will be kept outdoors, and the other part will be kept indoors.

Depending on your current home's needs, a hybrid system may be a valuable option if your existing furnace is still in good working condition or if you live in a very cold area. It's estimated that 90% of your home's heating requirement will be generated by the geothermal heat pump, while the traditional system turns on when the temperature outside is very cold. Geothermal systems work alone in very cold temperatures as well.

What is the lifespan of a geothermal heat pump?

The average lifespan of a geothermal heat pump is 22-25 years with proper upkeep. We've heard of many systems outlasting this range. For comparison, conventional HVAC systems have a lifespan of 13 - 15 years.

The ground loops are usually only installed once underground have an indefinite lifespan of 100 years plus with a 50-year warranty.

If ground loops have been installed previously, the indoor geothermal system can typically be replaced at the same expense and work as a conventional system.

What makes geothermal heating and cooling the most efficient and environmentally friendly?

Almost 50% of the sun's solar energy is absorbed by the earth. The ground loop system harnesses this, utilizing renewable energy to power the geothermal heat pump so it can provide efficient heating and cooling to homes and buildings.

Simply put, traditional heating and cooling methods like propane, natural gas, etc. are not as cost-effective to operate, are less efficient, and not as environmentally friendly since they don't use renewable energy. Unlike conventional HVAC, geothermal doesn't require combustion (flames) to provide heating, making it safer and more environmentally friendly.

Air-source and mini-split ductless systems rely on outdoor temperatures to heat and cool, which can vary from below freezing to very hot. That requires more energy to keep a home or building comfortable. Geothermal, on the other hand, transfers heat from a consistent and moderate temperature below ground.

I have a small yard, will geothermal still work for me?

Yes! Geothermal heat pumps can be installed in various types of yards for both buildings and homes through different types of ground loops. As long as you have a 10x10 area of land, a vertical ground loop system should do the trick.

Where can I install a geothermal heat pump?

Absolutely anywhere (within reason, of course)! Geothermal works in cities, suburbs, or rural areas. That also includes mountain regions, the Caribbean, and in all types of homes, old or new in various sizes. These versatile systems have even been used for greenhouses for consistent temperatures year-round. Geothermal is the ultimate heating and cooling solution.

Are there any disadvantages of installing a geothermal heat pump?

Our CEO, Steve, answers this best with an added touch of humor. He says, "In ove 30 years of experience, I've only found two real drawbacks to geothermal heat pumps: They cost more up-front to install, and it may displace the earthworms."

However, through flexible payment plans, cost-saving operations and maintenance, and incentives, there are ways to offset initial install costs, and the earthworms can find some new dirt to call home.

Got a question that wasn't listed here?

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Tetco Geothermal Systems
by Enertech Global, LLC
2506 S Elm Street
Greenville, IL 62246