Geothermal heating and cooling systems are the ultimate in home efficiency. By harnessing the steady supply of heat energy from underground with geothermal technologies, your home or building will use much less energy, which can save you money each month and reduce pollution produced by fossil fuel systems.
How It Works
Did you know that you can heat and cool your home or business with dirt? Yep, dirt.
Geothermal heating and cooling systems take advantage of the Earth’s ability to store a vast amount of heat in the soil. This heat energy is maintained at a constant temperature in the soil and near-surface rocks. In New York, the soil maintains a temperature of 52°F approximately five feet below the surface. In the summer, the ground beneath us is cooler than the outside air. In the winter, the ground is warmer than the outside air. The geothermal process does not create heat—it simply transports it to or from the ground. Most importantly, it doesn’t burn any fossil fuel.
Geothermal heating systems “capture” the steady supply of underground heat energy for use throughout your home or building. Once installed, your home or building will use much less energy, save money each month and eliminate pollution produced by fossil fuel systems.
There are two pieces to the geothermal unit: the heat pump and the ground loop. The heat pump is the indoor unit and the ground loops are the underground pipes. During the winter, the ground loop circulates water, absorbs the heat and sends it to the heat pump, where it’s used to keep your home warm. During the summer, the heat pump reverses. It pulls heat out of your home and transports the heat into the ground, consequently cooling your home.
Horizontal Group Loop
This type of loop is usually the most cost effective when trenches are easy to dig and the size of the yard is adequate. Polyethylene pipes are inserted and the trenches are backfilled. A typical home requires one quarter to three quarters of an acre for the trenches.
Vertical Ground Loop
This type of loop is used where space is limited. Vertical holes are bored 150 to 450 feet deep, much like wells. A single loop of pipe with a U-bend at the bottom is inserted before the hole is backfilled. A typical home requires three to five bores with approximately 15 feet of separation between the holes.
Pond Closed Loops
This type of loop design may be the most economical when a home is near water, such as a shallow pond or lake. In the loop, fluid circulates through polyethylene piping in a closed system, just as it does through ground loops. A half-acre, eight-foot deep pond is sufficient for an average home.
Geothermal Heat Pumps
Water-to-Air Heat Pump
This heat pump outputs forced air and is most commonly used to replace legacy-forced air furnaces and central air conditioning systems. There are variations that allow for split systems, high-velocity systems and ductless systems.
Water-to-Water Heat Pump
This heat pump is for hydronic systems that use water to carry heating or cooling through the building. Systems such as radiant under-floor heating, baseboard radiators and conventional cast iron radiators would use a liquid-to-water heat pump.
Combination Heat Pump
This heat pump can produce forced air and circulating water simultaneously and individually. These systems are largely used for houses that have a combination of air and liquid conditioning needs, such as central air conditioning and a heated pool.
Design & Maintenance
The Capital Advantage
A Scientific Approach
At Capital Heat, we focus on the science of geothermal heating and cooling, NOT just what the industry deems “rule of thumb.” All systems are designed by our certified mechanical engineers who have over 20 years of experience in thermodynamics and fluid flow.
Experience, Expertise, Precision
Capital Heat has been sizing and designing heating and cooling systems since 1957. Our expertise in building science allows us to pin-point your heating and cooling loads and consult ways to reduce them overall. We emphasize efficiency, sustainability and cost-effectiveness during this process.
Industry Leaders and Innovators
We stay ahead of the curve on all the latest heating and cooling technology so we can deliver contemporary solutions to our customers. As a result, we’re one of the only HVAC companies in our area with the expertise and capabilities required for designing geothermal heating and cooling systems.
Partners in Your Lifelong Heating and Cooling Needs
As a family-owned and -operated company, we treat our customers like they’re part of the family. When we design and install a new system, we’re just as invested as you are. We don’t work on commission, so we’re not in it to make an extra buck selling you something you don’t need. We want your system to work as efficiently as possible for as long as possible—and that starts with honest, expert design.
Regular Maintenance Ensures Lasting Efficiency
Since your geothermal system is designed to run all year, maintenance is essential to optimal performance. Here’s a handy checklist of things you can do to keep your system in the best possible condition.
- Clean or change your filter every month or every few months. Dirty filters, coils and fans reduce airflow through the system, which decreases its performance and can damage its compressor.
- Clean outdoor coils whenever they are dirty.
- Once in a while, you should also clean the fan—just turn the power off and remove any plant life or clutter from around the unit.
- Clean the supply and return registers in your home every so often.
We recommend that you have your unit maintained by a professional at Capital Heat once a year. During the check-up, we’ll change old filters in your heat pump and check your ductwork for any gaps or cracks. If needed, we’ll also adjust your unit and get it running at optimum capacity.
The best way to stay on top of regular maintenance is to enroll in a Capital Heat maintenance program. In addition to a number of valuable perks and savings, we’ll also remind you when your system is due for a check-up, so you don’t have to worry about it. We offer three different tiers of coverage—learn more about each option and choose the one that best suits your needs here.
Benefits of Geothermal Heating and Cooling
If you’re considering installing a geothermal heating and cooling system, you probably know that they don’t burn fossil fuel—making them more efficient and therefore more cost-effective than traditional systems. But the benefits of these systems are much bigger than the savings on your monthly utility bill. Geothermal heating and cooling systems are of the few meaningful ways individuals can reduce their carbon footprint and fight climate change.
We consider this a pretty good argument, but we’ve outlined all the benefits that we can think of just in case you need some more convincing.
- Environmental Impact—The EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy recognize geothermal systems as the most environmentally friendly way to heat and cool a home. Unlike other comfort systems, geothermal does not emit carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide or other greenhouse gasses which contribute to air quality pollution and climate change.
- Clean and Safe—There is no combustion in a geothermal heat pump, therefore there is no chance of carbon monoxide poisoning, making it a safer choice for you and your family.
- Lower Operating Cost—Geothermal heating and cooling delivers a 400% efficiency rating. That means four units of energy are delivered for every one unit of electrical energy. A normal furnace has only a 94% efficiency rating.
- Quiet and Reliable—Compared to alternatives, geothermal units are quiet. They’re also very reliable, since they’re not subjected to wear and tear caused by snow, rain, ice or vandalism.
- Longevity—Geothermal systems are usually good for 15 plus years. In comparison, a typical furnace will last 10 to 13 years with regular maintenance. The ground loop of the geothermal system (the pipes buried in the yard) has a warranty of 50 years.
- Positive Cash Flow—Geothermal systems are a smart investment. They can produce energy savings that will exceed the cost of the system installation over a period of time.
Rebates & Savings
Invest in Efficiency for Less
Installing a geothermal heat pump doesn’t have to break the bank. There are a handful of ways to make financing a new system and making a valuable investment in your home easier on your wallet.
• Long-term financing from Capital Heat
• NYSERDA Rebates
• NYSERDA Smart Energy Loans
• Federal Tax Credits
Capital Heat offers several long-term financing options—with approved credit—with competitive interest rates and convenient monthly payments. Contact us to learn more and talk discuss your options.
NYSERDA Smart Energy Loans
To help you manage the cost of installing a new geothermal heating system, NYSERDA also offers special, income-dependent financing options. The Smart Energy Loan (SEL) is a traditional loan that you repay monthly via check or automatic payment.
- Interest rates are subject to change and availability is subject to the customer’s credit qualification
- Monthly payments made to NYSERDA’s loan servicer
- Loan amounts from $1,500 to $25,000 with loan terms of five, 10 or 15 years.
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) offers incentives to homeowners for choosing heat pumps and taking advantage of them is hassle-free. As a NYSERDA-approved contractor, Capital Heat handles the rebate process and passes the savings on to you.
For installing a geothermal heat pump:
- A single-family home can receive up to $15,000
- A building can receive up to $500,000
- A multi-building site can receive up to $1 million
Please note that due to the fact that the initiative caps the rebates in some cases, there are some limitations to this program.
Federal Geothermal Tax Credits
In February 2018, Congress reinstated the 30% federal tax credit for geothermal heat pumps through 2019. It’s set to decrease slightly every year through 2021, so you’ll want to act fast on your installation to maximize your savings.
- 30% through 2019
- 26% through 2020
- 22% through 2021
- No limit to credit amount
Geothermal Savings Calculator
Interested in finding out how much you could save by switching to a geothermal heating and cooling system? Use this savings calculator to see the numbers.
For more information, don’t hesitate to contact us.