You can use geothermal on a small home lot

| by Marina Dippel

New and existing homes can take advantage of geothermal heating and cooling, with one catch: there has to be enough room to install the ground loop system.

Geothermal heating and cooling systems take advantage of the stable temperature (about 55 degrees F) underground using a piping system, commonly referred to as a "loop." The water circulates in the loop to exchange heat between the earth and the home using a ground-source heat pump.

The ground loop can be vertical, which is more expensive but takes less room, or horizontal, which is usually less expensive but requires more yard space.

If your home is sited on a small lot or there are other restrictions, there's still an alternative for you to have geothermal heating and cooling in your home.

A water-source hybrid system is the answer. A geothermal heat pump is used instead of a forced air furnace, and a highly efficient gas-fired tankless waterheater is tied into the system.

In this hybrid system the tankless water heater provides both domestic hot water for your home and the warm water for the geothermal unit. In the summer almost all of the heat removed from your home gets recycled for your domestic hot water needs.

This system can save an average of 50 percent on the heating and cooling your home and 50 percent on the heating domestic hot water.

Key system features:

  • Replaces both furnace and water heater
  • Never ending hot water
  • No need for a ground loop
  • System recycles heat, uses the discharged heat to pre heat your domestic hot water
  • System qualifies for geothermal 30% tax credit available through the end of 2016

Work with a qualified geothermal contractor to design a system that's suited to your home's situation.

Topics: Building Green, Geothermal Heating & Cooling

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