The average residential geothermal system in the United States is roughly 30% efficient. But what can you do to make it even more efficient? We have 5 tips that will help increase your home’s efficiency and save you money.
Geothermal systems are used to warm or cool homes, but they also provide a way to reduce your energy consumption by up to 40%. This means that you could use less energy with a geothermal system than if you were using natural gas, electric, or oil as heating sources.
But how exactly does this happen? What does a geothermal system do? And what else can you do at home to maximize its efficiency? Here’s all the info you need to know about maximizing your geothermal heat pump’s energy efficiency.
How Does a Geothermal System Work?
A geothermal system consists of several parts including a ground loop, an indoor unit, and an outdoor unit. The ground loop comprises three pipes: one pipe running underground from the house to the ground (or sometimes directly into the soil), along with two vertical pipes called “risers.” These risers run from the ground loop to the indoor unit, which is installed in the basement or attic.
The indoor unit includes a fan, compressor, and water-to-water heater. The compressor circulates cold water through copper coils located within the air handler. As the refrigerant moves through these coils, it absorbs the coldest available temperature, which allows it to be transported throughout the entire house.
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This process continues until the water in the coils reaches the desired temperature. Then the coils release the chilled water back outside into the environment. Meanwhile, the hot water returns to the water-to-water heat exchanger located inside the water heater. From there, this hot water passes through the evaporator coil and then back out to the environment.
Why You Need to Make Your Home More Efficient
Because geothermal systems are so efficient, they’re usually considered the most cost-effective option when it comes to heating and cooling your home. On top of that, many states offer rebates on new installations, and homeowners who install geothermal systems may qualify for tax credits and other incentives.
So why not take advantage of these benefits? There are a few reasons why geothermal systems aren’t always the best choice for some people. First, the installation process is quite complicated. Second, because geothermal systems use such low amounts of electricity, they don’t produce any emissions, making them ideal for those concerned about environmental issues. Finally, geothermal systems are expensive to maintain due to their complexity. So if you live in an area where there isn’t much demand for geothermal systems, you might want to consider another option instead.
Tips for Improving the Efficiency of Your Geothermal System
Even though geothermal systems are extremely efficient, there are still ways to improve upon their performance. To learn more about how to maximize your geothermal system’s efficiency, check out our full guide below:
1) Install a Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats allow you to set different temperatures for different rooms in your home. For example, you could program your bedroom to stay warmer during the winter months while your living room stays cooler. Or you could set everything at 65 degrees Fahrenheit all year round.
2) Insulate Your Basement
Insulating your basement makes sense because it reduces the amount of heat that leaks out from your home. And it can help prevent moisture problems too. Just make sure that your basement is well insulated before installing a geothermal system.
3) Add a Water Heater to Your System
If you already have a water heater in your home, you can add one to your geothermal system. It won’t cost you anything extra, but it will help decrease the temperature loss from your geothermal system.
4) Keep Your Ground Loop Well Placed
Ground loops should ideally be placed in areas that are deep enough to keep the pipes cool enough. If they’re placed near a road, they’ll lose their effectiveness.
If you want to know more about ground loops, read our guide on finding the best location for your geothermal system.
5) Don’t Overheat Your House
Overheating your home wastes energy. And if you have a geothermal system, you won’t even realize that you’re overdoing it. That’s because the only thing that heats your home is the ambient air. In other words, your geothermal system won’t actually heat your home at all unless you specifically tell it to do so.
And even then, you’d only be heating the air around you. When you leave your home, you’ll notice that it was colder outside than it was when you came inside. So it’s important to remember that your geothermal system doesn’t really heat your home. Instead, it just transfers heat from the environment into your home.
While geothermal systems are incredibly efficient, they’re not perfect. With these simple tips, you can maximize your geothermal system’s efficiency and save yourself some cash.