Geothermal Myths: Busted
As typically happens when new technologies begin making their way into the mainstream, there is a lot of misinformation floating around about geothermal systems. Here at Capital Heat, we hear a lot of these myths straight from our customers. While geothermal is indeed not for everybody, we urge you not to rule it out without chatting with a professional first. Here are some of the most common myths that we’ve heard about geothermal systems.
Myth 1 – Geothermal systems require a lot of land.
Truth – Vertical ground loops require very little by way of acreage. They’re drilled down to about 275ft – 300ft, and last for generations. Many suburban homes have enough yard space for adequate installation.
Myth 2 – Geothermal only works in new builds.
Truth – If you’re building a new home, geothermal is an excellent investment. But a geothermal system can be hooked into most existing heat distribution systems without a lot of retrofitting required. The ground loops go outside, and the heat pump takes the place of your furnace/boiler. It’s that easy!
Myth 3 – Geothermal only works with forced air/duct systems.
Truth – Geothermal systems can operate seamlessly with both forced air systems and hydronic systems. While central A/C only works with forced air, geothermal heating can work with forced air, radiator, baseboard, radiant flooring, or any combination system.
Myth 4 – Geothermal relies on ground heat and it’s too cold here!
Truth – We’re not denying that WNY gets cold. But the technology doesn’t rely on air temperature. The ground loops are installed deep enough that cold air no longer affects the ground temperature. The sun heats the ground to about 54 degrees year round, no matter the climate. It doesn’t get colder in the winter OR warmer in the summer.
Myth 5 – Geothermal systems will hike up my water and electricity bills.
Truth – Geothermal systems are closed systems, so while the ground loops are filled with water, they aren’t constantly losing and replenishing it. The electricity question is slightly more complex. The heat pump does use electricity, so your electric bill will rise a small amount. But the cost of electricity is enormously stable, especially compared to the cost of propane, oil or natural gas. So while your electricity bill will go up, you’ll more than make up that rise through the elimination of your heating bills.
Myth 6 – Geothermal systems are too expensive.
Truth – Geothermal systems come with an existing 30% Federal tax credit on installation. The payback period for most systems is around five years. This is due to the potential for immediate, large savings on your heating bills after switching to geothermal. And with the 50 year warranty on your heat pump and an even longer lifespan of the ground loops, maintenance costs are significantly lower than traditional heating systems.
Myth 7 – Installing a geothermal system is a lengthy, annoying process
Truth – After the initial assessments are made and plans are drawn, the actual installation process typically takes just a few days. The disruption time is minimal, and the system begins working immediately.
Still have doubts or questions about geothermal systems? Our reps at Capital Heat are more than happy to talk to you about any concerns or questions you might have. Capital Heat provides total project management, which means that we manage everything from evaluation to design to installation to maintenance. While geothermal may not be the right choice for your home, it’s rare that it’s not an option for your home – so give us a call! Or, schedule your FREE geothermal evaluation online today.