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10 Geothermal Myths Explained

Geothermal diagram winter heating mode

Our friends at Contractors California have put together and shared with us the following blog post we don’t want you to miss. The blog addresses some of the common myth and misunderstandings about geothermal heating and air conditioning.

Geothermal heating and cooling has been used in the United States and abroad for over 60 years and is comprised of below ground pipes that transfer energy to the property above. Temperatures below ground stay relatively consistent, so this energy is able to heat and cool a home quite effectively. Despite this, many property owners may have false or inaccurate information about this environmentally friendly HVAC system.

  1. Geothermal HVAC systems aren’t a renewable technology, of their use of electricity.

Geothermal HVAC systems move as many as five units of heating or cooling to a building, with just one unit of electricity.

  1. Photovoltaic and wind power make for better renewable technologies than do geothermal HVAC systems.

Photovoltaic and wind power play important roles in energy production, but geothermal HVAC systems help to remove four times the kilowatt-hours of consumption. Therefore, HVAC systems are quite frequently the most cost effective option to reduce the environmental impact of air conditioning and heating.

  1. I would need a lot of land for placing the piping earth loops.

The physical characteristics of some sites allow for earth loops to be buried vertically. This means you wouldn’t need much above ground surface. Another option is tap into an available aquifer. In this case, you would only need a few square feet of land.

  1. Geothermal HVAC systems make too much noise.

These systems actually run very quietly, and unlike many other types of HVAC systems, there is no outside equipment.

  1. Geothermal HVAC systems wear out eventually.

In reality, earth loops generally last for generations. Additionally, the indoor heat-exchange equipment lasts for decades. When the indoor equipment does wear out, the cost is much lower, since it doesn’t involve having to replace the other components of the geothermal system.

  1. Geothermal HVAC systems can only heat, not cool.

Some customers do decide to have a backup heat source to use on the coldest days, in order to have a smaller loop. HVAC systems can be engineered to not need a backup, and geothermal HVAC systems can cool as well as they heat.

  1. Geothermal HVAC systems won’t be able to heat water, my home and my pool simultaneously.

Geothermal systems can actually be designed to heat multiple sources at once.

  1. Refrigerant lines must go into the ground with geothermal HVAC systems.

Unlike many other HVAC systems, these systems only use water, not refrigerant, in their loops and lines.

  1. Geothermal HVAC systems use a lot of water.

Geothermal systems don’t consume any water. When the systems use aquifers, the water gets returned to the same aquifer.

  1. Local and federal tax incentives are needed to make geothermal HVAC technology financially feasible.

As geothermal systems become more common, the installation costs are being reduced. In fact, the cost is now getting closer to more conventional systems with the right conditions.


Thanks Banner Heating and Cooling, Santa Rosa CA for sharing with us and our reader. The original article was published as “10 Geothermal Heating and Cooling Myths.”

To find out if geothermal HVAC systems can work for your property contact our geothermal specialists at Carolina Heating.

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