In the winter this stored natural heat is collected by a series of underground pipes called a loop. Water or a mixture of eco-friendly antifreeze and water carries this heat back to the main geothermal heat pump where it is compressed and released to raise the inside temperature. Pretty cool, too, because during summer, the heat is drawn from indoors, carried underground by the same liquid in the loop and absorbed by the earth, leaving the indoors nice and cool. There are four different loop systems. The vertical loop for smaller land areas, the horizontal loop for larger land areas, the pond loop for when a body of water at least eight to ten feet deep is available and the open loop system that can be used when adequate well water or other aquifer is available. There is a system for everyone.
Because solar energy stored in the earth is free, constant and pollutant free, geothermal heating and cooling is the most efficient, economical and environmentally responsible system available on the market today. Monte Stelzriede of Almanor Energy Plus reminded us that many utility companies offer rebates when newly installed systems meet Energy Star requirements. The GeoComfort systems sold and installed by his company not only meet these efficiency requirements, he said they surpass them. There are several geothermal units to choose from and prices are comparable to old school central heat and cooling units. Installation costs are based on property size, soil type and individual loop system requirements so an estimate from a local certified installer is necessary to determine those fees.
In addition to utility company rebates, the federal government also offers a 30% tax credit on systems meeting Energy Star requirements and placed in service before December 31, 2016. These rebates and tax credits are also available for solar, wind and other renewable, green energy systems. You can learn more about the tax credits at www.energy.gov and inquire about the rebates with your local utility provider.
Our planet earth is demanding that we trade fossil fuels for renewable energies and reduce pollution. Perhaps it’s time we all learn more about geothermal heating and cooling, hot water heating and refrigeration and all the other earth friendly things we can do. If everyone does just a little we can reduce humanity’s carbon footprint a lot.
Source: Monte Stelzreide and Louis Benny at Almanor Energy Plus, Lake Almanor 530-596-3128