(NC)—Geothermal heating and cooling is one of the most environmentally-friendly options available to homeowners, and serves as a great method for working towards a self-sufficient home. Instead of pulling heat from natural gas, fuel oil or electrical heat sources, geothermal heating draws from the earth's natural heat below the frost line.
As spring arrives and the ground thaws to facilitate the installation of this system, the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) encourages homeowners to consider geothermal heating as a long-term solution to high home heating and cooling bills, and as a great way to protect the environment for future generations.
How it Works
Using an underground piping system, called a ground loop, a high-pressure liquid is circulated in order to absorb the natural warmth from deep in the earth surrounding your home, transferring this heat through your home's forced air or radiant flooring system. In the summer, this process is reversed. Heat is drawn from inside the home through the same system, and returned to the earth. Geothermal systems will heat your home in the winter and cool it in the summer.
Beyond general service calls, geothermal units are virtually maintenance-free. When properly installed, the buried ground loop will last for generations. With all components housed indoors and underground, the system is not exposed to harsh weather conditions, and will provide benefits to the home for decades to come. The key is to ensure a proper installation.
Though the cost of geothermal installation can be a substantial investment, many provincial governments offer rebate programs that refund up to half the cost. These programs exist because the environmental benefits of these programs are substantial. Even in the absence of these programs, however, you may be surprised to find out how quickly these systems can pay for themselves in energy savings, especially in a time of escalating energy costs.
If your family is interested in learning more about this money-saving, eco-friendly system, HRAI encourages you to visit www.hrai.ca for a list of contractors in your area that can help you decide if this system is right for you. With so many benefits to the earth and your family, geothermal heating and cooling is a valuable investment for the future of your home, and something Canadians should consider for their indoor comfort needs.v