Why Geothermal/GeoExchange?

What IS Geothermal?

East Kootenay F-20110923-00008Geothermal heating and cooling, more accurately termed GeoExchange in Canada, is the process whereby we draw or reject heat utilizing the earth’s warmth and storage capacity as a heat sink.

The earth’s outer crust has the ability to store heat energy from the sun, at 10 or 11 degrees Celsius in our region. As stored energy, the heat is extracted from the ground via a liquid medium and circulated to the heat pump. This modest heat is enhanced through evaporation, compression and then condensation by the heat pump components with the resultant temperature rise enough to heat your home or business, using radiant floors and/or forced air, air handlers or fan coils. In the summer, the process is reversed and indoor heat is extracted from your building and transferred to the earth through the liquid medium.

There are a variety of options available to us, most of them site dependant – the final choice usually being dictated by economics as they all work equally well.

We have open loop systems (using your property water well, at least 12 gal/min, in tandem with domestic needs) and closed loop systems (sealed tubing containing antifreeze or “green” refrigerant) that can be embedded in horizontal trenches if you have the space in your yard, or vertical boreholes if you do not. Or you could make use of that pond or nearby lake as a heat bank! The lengths and numbers of these loops are sized according to the building’s heating and cooling load durations combined with heat pump output.

Economics

IMG_1849Simple as falling off a log…. A geothermal heat pump will move 3.5 to 4.5 times more heat to and from a building than the energy required to operate it. This efficiency can be compared to other types of heating/ cooling systems with a vast improvement over the best gas boiler, propane or electric heater. In pocketbook language, every $1 of hydro input will return $3.50 in heat/cooling energy resulting in a great hedge against rebounding energy prices in the future that will also save you at least 66% on heating bills today. It makes common sense to build with leading technologies. Geothermal pays you to own it!

The higher initial cost of an installation over a conventional system is offset within 4 to 7 years. To the building owner, this is a very reasonable payback, not forgetting the life-cycle (double conventional boiler systems) and lower maintenance costs allowing for significant savings over the long-term.

Our free quotes will illustrate the comparison analysis and operating costs, proving investment potential.

As an investment, geothermal installations will safely outperform stock market or savings account interest. As a property owner, not only will there be a monthly return on investment through lower utility bills, should you decide to sell, your investment will be returned to you as increased equity in your property (ask any real estate agent – geothermal has a premium attached to it) with the added bonus of curbside appeal to speed the sale.

Environment

1IMG_4592Geothermal doesn’t get much greener! No combustion. No emissions. No chimney or vent stack. Super safe. All Nordic heat pumps now use R-410a “green” refrigerant. These pumps only require a bit of electricity to move heat around. With BC’s hydro generated electricity, we really are stepping lightly on the planet while providing superior comfort within our buildings.

Within Canada, the earth’s continuous 10 degrees Celsius offers reliability without heating and cooling fluctuations making homes comfortable all year!

We can all do our part to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by putting our backyards to work! Freeing oneself from the clutches of fossils fuels and working towards a sustainable future for generations to come is enough to consider the potential for cost-effective, environmentally-friendly geothermal heating and cooling solutions!