What is Geothermal Energy?
There are two kinds: (1) High grade (Steam…example – Old Faithful) (2) Low grade geothermal energy is the heat in the earth’s crust. This is stored solar energy. Verde Sol Air can tap into this geothermal energy to give you HUGE energy savings when heating, cooling and making hot water.
What is a Geothermal Heat Pump?
A heat pump is a mechanical device used for heating and cooling which operates on the principle that heat can be moved from a warmer temperature to a cooler temperature. A geothermal heat pump uses the earth to warm us in the winter and cool us in the summer.
Example: your refrigerator. If you put your hand behind it you’ll feel the heat that has been removed from the food inside the refrigerator. This is the same principle geothermal uses to move heat to and from your home and the earth.
What type of Geothermal Heat Pumps are available?
WaterFurnace offers the most efficient, comfortable, reliable and quiet system available today. We prefer WaterFurnace because Geothermal is all they do. This is their passion and as a result they are pioneers in the industry, with the latest technologies, highest efficiencies, and best warranties.
Can a geothermal heat pump heat my hot water for my home?
Domestic hot water is preheated with the excess heat from the geothermal system. A typical hot water desuperheater will generally provide 120° F water and can supply most of the domestic water needs depending on the amount of consumption.
How efficient is a geothermal heat pump?
This may be hard to imagine but it is true … 500% efficient. Yes that’s right. Think of it this way, a typical gas furnace takes 1 unit of energy, keeps 80% and loses 20%. Geothermal: for every 1 unit of energy we gain 4 units of free energy from the earth = 500%.
On average the operating costs are about 75% less than electric heating devices and 60% less than air source heat pumps. Cooling costs are 40% – 50% lower when compared to conventional air conditioners. In addition, because hot water is supplied by the heat pump at these efficiencies and higher, your overall savings are increased even more.
How do I get the heat from the ground into my home, or the heat out of my house?
We use a system of tubing in the ground (ground loops), inserted into vertical well bores for gathering or removing heat. The magic of compression, combined with a properly designed tubing system gives us the heating and cooling needed for inside the home.
What is the best type of ground loop for Arizona?
Vertical loops are preferred in Arizona due to the dry soil conditions. The even temperatures we need to give you the savings you expect occur below 10 feet. Our vertical holes in the ground range from 250-350 feet deep. Each hole contains a single loop of pipe with a U-bend at the bottom. The hole is then backfilled or grouted to improve the thermal conductivity. Each vertical pipe is then connected to a horizontal pipe underground to and from the heat pump. Vertical loops are generally more expensive to install, but require less piping than horizontal loops.
Geothermal heating and cooling systems MUST BE INSTALLED PROPERLY. High system performance is dependent upon good installation practices. Verde Sol-Air is a highly trained authorized dealer with professionals who understand specifications, codes, and conditions.
How long will the pipe last?
We use a high-density polyethylene pipe, which has a 50-year warranty. Independent tests show a useful life span of over 200 years.
How are the pipe sections of the loop joined?
Thermal, or heat fusion. This type of connection forms a joint stronger than the original pipe.
What is the fluid in the loops?
There are two kinds of antifreeze solutions used: methyl alcohol and propylene glycol. We use ENVIRONOL which is a methyl alcohol and water solution, and is bio-degradable.
Do I need to increase the size of my electric service?
Most homes already have adequate electrical service. The low energy demands make geothermal an option for newer as well as most older homes.
What does a system like this cost? How long is the payback period for your geothermal heat pump system?
Each house is different. The average geothermal heating and cooling system, ends up costing more than a good 2-stage central air system with improved duct, even after tax credits & rebates.
BUT, when it comes to payback, geothermal owners often see a 5-8 year payback of these additional costs. Then it’s money in the bank from that point on. This is based on utility costs TODAY…if rates go up so do your savings, which would then shorten the payback time.
What about comfort?
The comfort level rivals that of radiant heat. The multi levels of heat, cool, and air flow make this the most comfortable air system available.
Can a geothermal provide radiant heat in my home?
Yes. We have geothermal systems that can provide air conditioning AND radiant in-floor heat. We also have just radiant only systems as well for those with no air ducting.
Can geothermal do snow melting?
Yes. Snow melting on sidewalks and driveways is becoming more fashionable and can be incorporated into the overall geothermal system design.
Can I heat my pool?
Yes. Indoor and outdoor pools are easily heated inexpensively with geothermal heat pumps.
What kind of maintenance can I expect?
A properly installed geothermal heat pump requires very little maintenance aside from regularly maintaining the air filter and air blower assembly. We recommend periodic check ups to ensure performance and to fulfill warranty requirements.
How is a heat pump sized?
Verde Sol-Air will size your heat pump based on an accurate heating and cooling analysis (load) of the home or building. Factors like windows, doors, and insulation values are taken into account. The heat pump is then sized and will keep you warm during the coldest winter night and cool on the hottest summer day.
Will this system add value to my home?
Yes. More and more Home Appraisers and Real-estate Agents are educated and acknowledge a geothermal system as a renewable energy source with greater value. Plus there is value added to your home for the ground loops as an energy source.
Is it true that geothermal heat pump systems have the lowest impact on the environment?
Yes. Geothermal heat pumps use only a fraction of the energy, with NO emissions, and NO noise pollution. It therefore has a very low impact on the environment.
What is the life of a geothermal system?
Experts agree 30 to 40 years of serviceable life is expected from ground source heat pumps. This is double that of conventional systems.
What is the geothermal warranty?
Residential Installations: 10 year Parts & Labor on the system (equipment), and 50 years on the ground loop tubing.
The Technical View of the Heat Pump Process. Remember that the heat pump moves heat from a low temperature source to a high temperature source. The process of elevating low temperature heat to over 100 degrees Fahrenheit and transferring it indoors involves a cycle of evaporation, compression, condensation and expansion. A refrigerant is used as the heat transfer medium which circulates within the heat pump. The cycle starts as the cold liquid refrigerant passes through a heat exchanger (evaporator) and absorbs heat from the low temperature source (liquid from the ground loop). The refrigerant evaporates into a gas as heat is absorbed. The gaseous refrigerant then passes through a compressor where the refrigerant is pressurized, raising its temperature to over 160 degrees F. The hot gas then circulates through a refrigerant-to-air heat exchanger where heat is removed and pumped into the home at about 100 degrees F. When it loses the heat, the refrigerant changes back to a liquid. The liquid is cooled as it passes through an expansion valve and begins the process again. To air condition the flow is reversed.