AEA Geothermal FAQ, NE

How much will a geothermal system cost?

The precise answer is "it depends." The initial investment will be greater than that of a conventional system, that is certain. The geothermal system that's the right fit for your home depends on several factors, including the house heating and cooling load and the soil conditions. On top of the purchase price for the equipment and the costs associated with trenching or drilling, you can expect installation costs for electrical or plumbing work, and possibly additional ductwork.

How will I save money on a more expensive system?

Geothermal systems are expensive to install, but they immediately reduce your operating costs and have very low maintenance costs. In some cases, your monthly energy savings could be higher than your financing costs!

Are geothermal systems guaranteed?

A warranty is on major components similar to those offered for conventional HVAC equipment. The plastic pipe used for ground loops usually comes with a 50 year warranty.

How is a geothermal system sized?

A geothermal system provides about 80 percent of your heating load. While sizing the system to handle all of your heating needs could mean slightly lower heating costs, the installation cost of a larger system outweighs the potential savings in heating costs. On the other hand, the system is usually sized to meet all your cooling needs. Your dealer/installer should provide a heating and cooling load calculation to guide your equipment selection.

Does this mean that an additional heat source is necessary?

A geothermal system can provide all the heat necessary even in the coldest weather. We carry out an in-depth analysis to determine the cost-effective sizing of heat pump and auxiliary heating source.

Can a geothermal system be added to my furnace?

Yes, a geothermal system can easily be added to an existing furnace. Called a dual-fuel system, the geothermal is the main heating source with the furnace acting as backup when needed in extremely cold weather.

Will my existing ductwork function with this system?

Yes, in most cases. With energy load calculations, including a Manual J calculation and a Manual D analysis, our team will be able to determine ductwork requirements.

What's the difference between horizontal and vertical installations?

Horizontal installations are simpler and it is less expensive, but a larger area is required than is for a vertical system. Vertical installations are more expensive because of the cost of drilling, but they are usually more efficient and require less total pipe than a horizontal system of the same size. On a site with extensive hard rock, a vertical installation may be the only choice.

Do soil freezing conditions create any problems?

A properly designed and installed system will have no problems related to soil freezing or soil movement.

Will an underground loop damage my yard?

Loops have no adverse effects on grass, trees or shrubs. Temporary bare areas after drilling or trenching can be restored with grass seed or sod.

Need more geothermal questions answered? Call AEA today!

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