Premier Indoor Comfort Systems LLC Blog : Posts Tagged ‘Geothermal’

What Sort of Heating Repair Do Geothermal Systems Need?

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Geothermal heating has started to spread to residential use, and homeowners across the country are discovering the advantages of using the stable, natural power of the earth’s heat to bring comfort to their living spaces. Geothermal heat pumps offer reliable, quiet performance that saves money and reduces the impact on the environment.

People still hesitate about geothermal installation, however, because of worries about initial costs and the problems from repairs. Geothermal heat pumps work using underground pipe loops that carry heat from the ground into a unit inside a home, and it takes a great deal of work to dig the trenches for those pipes. However, repairing a geothermal heat pump isn’t as difficult as people think, as we’ll explain.

For assistance with geothermal heating repair in Bryson City, GA, contact our specialists at Premier Indoor Comfort Systems. We offer comprehensive installation, repair, and maintenance services.

Geothermal heat pump repairs

The repair problem that most people think will afflict a geothermal system is leaking in the ground loops. But this is an uncommon issue, and the underground pipes can often last 50 years without needing replacement. Even when they do develop a leak, it isn’t as arduous a problem to fix as people imagine. A technician inserts a colored dye into underground loops, and then traces the dye’s appearance on the surface to target the leaks. This way, it requires only a small amount of excavation to fix the leaks.

Most of the other repairs that a geothermal system can require are the ones that any heat pump can encounter. Burned out motors, stuck compressors, and broken reversing valves need to be replaced. Leaking compressors lead to a drop in refrigerant, and the refrigerant must be recharged. Start and run capacitors malfunction and must be swapped out. All of these are basic repairs little different from standard air-source heat pump repair and don’t require any excavation.

Is geothermal worth the cost?

It’s true that a geothermal system requires a larger upfront installation cost than most other home comfort systems, but their efficiency means they will pay back their price tag in 5–10 years, and with their longevity they will have many more years of saving you money. If you have a home and property suited for geothermal, you should definitely give it serious consideration.

Call up Premier Indoor Comfort Systems today to schedule an appointment to find out if your home will benefit from geothermal. Call us for any installation or heating repair in Bryson City, GA that you need.

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Solar vs. Geothermal: Which One Is Better?

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Here in Atlanta, there are many different ways to heat your home, including some environmentally friendly options. Geothermal systems utilize the constant temperature beneath the earth to warm you home, while solar panels can collect the energy in sunlight to provide energy for heating. Both have considerable advantages, including low monthly costs, durability and environmental friendliness. But does one have a tangible advantage of the other? Solar vs. geothermal: which one is better?

Certainly solar panels don’t provide as much energy as geothermal systems do, at least at this point in time. They need a great deal of square footage and the power supply is obviously less effective on cloudy days. However, you can tie most systems into the grid as a backup for days when you need more energy. Solar heating does well if your home’s square footage is small and your winters are mild. Solar panels also benefit from being comparatively easy to access, making it easier to maintain and repair them over time.

Geothermal systems, on the other hand,  draw on the ambient temperature of the earth, they aren’t affected by seasonal conditions, and once they’re set up, they provide regular heating with a minimal of effort. They work by running tubes of liquid underneath the ground, which circulate and facilitate a heat exchange with the surrounding earth. That makes them very efficient. Unlike solar panels, however, they require a huge amount of effort to set up, and repairs to the tubes can be very costly since they require excavation in order to treat.

Again, when pondering solar vs. geothermal, you have to keep your individual circumstances in mind. Here in Atlanta, heating options of all sorts are available, but one size does not fit all. The experts at Premier Indoor Comfort Systems have experience with a large number of heating options, and can discuss them all with you before performing a high quality installation. Pick up the phone and give us a call today. You’ll be glad you did!

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Factors to Consider Prior to a Geothermal Installation in Swain County, NC

Monday, January 7th, 2013

Geothermal heating and cooling systems are becoming more and more popular as energy prices continue to rise and homeowners continue to look for alternative fuel sources without sacrificing their comfort. With a professional installation and regular maintenance service, your geothermal heating and cooling system can keep you Swain County home comfortable affordably for years to come. Before you can have a geothermal system installed, though, you must consider a number of factors. To figure out if a geothermal heating and cooling system is appropriate for your home and property, contact Premier Indoor Comfort Systems. We’ll make sure that you get the right heating and cooling system for your home.

One of the main factors that will affect the possibility of a geothermal heating and cooling system installation on your property is the geological condition of your land. The soil and rock quality and characteristics can affect the transfer of heat and the installation of the ground loop system. If you do not have usable land deep enough for trenching you may need to dig for vertical loop installation. Only a professional geothermal technician can make these decisions.

The presence of water on your property must also be considered. If a body of water on your property is sufficient the loop system may be submerged in it. The depth, volume and quality of this water must be considered before this can be done. If you have ground water you can even opt for an open loop system, in which water itself replaces the antifreeze solution that usually acts as the heat transfer fluid in closed loop geothermal systems.

The amount of land at your disposal is also important. If there is not enough or just barely enough land for the system to draw heat from it will not be effective. There is no point in investing in this sort of system if it cannot be properly installed on your property.

For more information about the considerations you must make prior to a geothermal installation in Swain County, contact Premier Indoor Comfort Systems. We are always happy to help. Our technicians want to make your home a more comfortable, efficient place to live.

 

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Environmental Benefits of Geothermal Systems

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

In Waynesville, NC, many homes are starting to realize the benefits of switching to geothermal heating and air conditioning systems. At Premier Indoor Comfort Systems, we’ve been installing, repairing and maintaining geothermal systems for many years. In order to help educate our customers in the Waynesville, NC area, we decided to put together a quick explanation of how geothermal systems work and what environmental benefits they offer.

How Geothermal Systems Work

If you were to dig about 10 feet into the ground the temperature there would be around 55° F. Upon first thought, that doesn’t sound too interesting. But what’s amazing is that the temperature there is consistently 55° F no matter what temperature the air is above ground. Geothermal systems take advantage of that consistent temperature and use it to heat and cool your home. Using a series of pipes buried in the ground, geothermal systems circulate a refrigerant to absorb and deposit heat. So in heating mode, your geothermal system absorbs heat from the earth and moves it inside your home. In cooling mode it does just the opposite.

No Combustion

One of the most obvious benefits to geothermal systems is that during the winter, they don’t need to burn any fuels to produce heat. They use the clean, unlimited and free supply of energy in the earth. That way, your home doesn’t produce any harmful combustion gasses that can not only harm the planet, but can also potentially harm your family.

Less Electricity

Geothermal systems still require electricity to run the actual heat pump that extracts heat from the refrigerant. However, compared to other electric heating systems like electric boilers, furnaces or electric heat strips, they use far less electricity. This reduces the demand for electricity from coal factories that produce electricity.

If you’re interested in learning more about how geothermal systems can benefit the environment and your wallet, call the professionals at Premier Indoor Comfort Systems. We would love to talk with you about the possibility of putting in a geothermal system in your Waynesville, NC home. Call us today!

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Types of Geothermal Loop Systems

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

From the Greek word “geo” for “earth”, geothermal energy is generated by the natural process of heat gravitating toward cooler temperatures.  The by-product can be captured and utilized simply as heat or converted to electricity. In small, self-contained residential or large commercial applications in Atlanta, this typically happens in either closed or open looped systems.

Closed Loops

Systems using water or anti-freeze that run from the pump into the ground and back to the pump continuously are closed looped.  Most efficient for smaller residential systems where land is available, two or three horizontal loops are side by side just a few feet underground.  Sometimes the loops are spiraled underground to extend the overall length in a shorter area.

Where the need for length may be prohibitive to run alongside the building, large commercial buildings and schools often use vertical systems.  A series of holes four inches in diameter are drilled about 20 feet apart and 100–400 feet deep and filled with two pipes connected at the bottom to form a loop. Each loop is connected with a horizontal manifold pipe in a trench which connects to the heat pump in the building. Vertical loops are also the choice when the soil is too shallow for trenching.  This system minimizes the disturbance to existing landscaping.

If the site has an adequate water body, a pond/lake loop may be the lowest cost option where a supply line is run underground directly to the water and coiled into circles at least eight feet under the surface to prevent freezing before looping back to the building.

Open Loops

An open loop system takes surface water or a well to use as the heat exchange fluid that circulates directly through the GHP system instead of a piped fluid passing through the surface. Once circulated through the system, the water returns to the ground through the well or a discharge over the surface.

For more information about installing a geothermal system in your Atlanta home, give Premier Indoor Comfort Systems a call today!

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Problems Caused by Poor Water Quality in Open Loop Systems

Monday, May 7th, 2012

As geothermal heating and cooling systems go, an open loop configuration can be an excellent choice, provided the environment supports it. Open loop systems work very effectively and efficiently because the deep water is held at an almost constant temperature year round. This property makes it a very good source of heat for the geothermal system.

However, an important factor to consider before choosing an open loop system is the quality of the water coming from the source. Although you won’t drink the water, the quality still matters a great deal, as poor water quality can cause serious problems in your geothermal system.

Let’s take a look at some common water quality problems and the damage they can potentially do to an open loop geothermal system in Atlanta.

 Mineral Deposits

If the water is filled with minerals — frequently called “hard water” — those minerals can be deposited within the geothermal coils. As they build up on the walls over time, they can slow the flow of the water or even clog it completely.

Hard water does not necessarily preclude the use of an open loop system. It just may call for extra maintenance, such as periodically flushing the system with a mild acid solution to remove mineral build-up.

 Impurities

Impurities in water, especially metals like iron, can also cause clogs. Most frequently this occurs in the return well of the geothermal system. Again, these impurities do not necessarily mean an open loop system can’t work for you, but you should consult with the contractor prior to installation for solutions to this problem.

 Particulate and Organic Matter

If you plan to use surface water such as a pond or spring as the source for your open loop system, make sure to test the water composition thoroughly. An excess of sediment or organic matter can clog up your geothermal system very quickly.

Ideally, these are all situations that your Atlanta HVAC contractor will anticipate and discuss with you ahead of time, so that your open loop system can be installed in such a way as to preempt any problems with water quality.

If you are interested in having a geothermal system installed in your home, call Premier Indoor Comfort Systems today!

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What You Need Know Before Installing Geothermal Heating and Cooling

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Plentiful beyond imagination just ten feet below the surface, geothermal is being used to provide more than 30% of Iceland’s electrical needs and it is fast becoming a viable option to provide heat  for your Atlanta home as well.  Before digging straight down, however, it is important to look around and consider some important points.

Geothermal 101

Thermal energy is a force that is produced from the movement of warm temperature to cooler.  The term “geo” is from the Greek word for Earth.  Geothermal energy is the unlimited resource of power that is the result of the formation of the Earth billions of years ago and the on-going process of melting rocks nearing the core of that heat.

Location, Location, Location

Difficult to retrieve from deep within the Earth, geothermal is most often considered for large production where natural breaks in the crust such as volcanoes, hot springs and faults are close to the surface.  Just ten feet below the surface, however, there is enough temperature difference to make available enough to efficiently supply a home.

Still, it’s not a guarantee of success, however.  The density of the bedrock, the water table and the balance between extreme hot and cold temperatures with the temperatures of the thermal energy are all factors to be considered.

Dollar for Dollar

For new construction in Atlanta, geothermal is a great alternative because after the more expensive installation, the cost from month to month can produce enough savings to quickly pay for the system.  The savings are potentially so significant, there are situations where the cost of replacing an old inefficient conventional system can be neutralized by the savings in just two to ten years.

If you are thinking about Atlanta geothermal heating and cooling installation and you would like some more information, give Premier Indoor Comfort Systems a call today!

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Geothermal Installation Steps

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Are you interested in geothermal heating for your Conyers home? Are you considering using the natural heating and cooling energy of the Earth as a way to keep your home at a comfortable temperature?

If you are, you probably have a lot of questions, not the least of which have to do with the installation process. You may assume that it is complicated, but in most cases it is quite simple. Here is a simple summary of the steps involved in installing a geothermal system:

  1. The very first step, before any kind of installation can even be planned, is to evaluate the ground on which your home sits to be sure it can support a geothermal system. The area must be evaluated for soil and rock composition, availability of ground and surface water and availability of land.
  2. Once you have determined that your yard can handle a geothermal system, it is time to choose the type of system you need. This depends a lot on the evaluation from step 1, as well as some other factors. For one example, if you have very little land available, you may need to opt for a vertical loop configuration. For another, if you are fortunate enough to have a small body of water on your property, you can take advantage of a pond loop installation.
  3. Your contractor will dig and/or drill trenches for placement of the geothermal pipes. Try not to be nervous. They will disrupt your yard as little as possible.
  4. With the trenches prepared, pipes can be placed in accordance with the configuration you chose.
  5. Your contractor will fill the trenches back in to cover the pipes loosely. You may want to work with a landscaper to fully “re-assemble” your yard where the pipes were installed.
  6. Finally, the installation team will hook up the geothermal system to your home, make any necessary final adjustments, and you are good to go!

If you’re interested in geothermal heating in Conyers, contact Premier Indoor Comfort Systems today to discuss the installation process for your home.

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The Most Effective Environmentally Friendly Heating Methods

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Protecting the environment is a priority for many Jonesboro homeowners these days. The problem is that it can’t be as a high a priority as heating your home. Sure, you want your home to be environmentally friendly, but you also need it to be warm.

So, it seems you are forced to run your electric or fuel-powered furnace as much as is necessary and hope that it’s not too much for the environment — or your wallet — to take.

Beyond the traditional heating methods of electricity, gas, oil and what have you, there are some alternatives out on the market these days that can keep your home warm while also being green.

 Geothermal

One solution is geothermal heat, which harnesses the natural heat of the Earth to warm your home. Pipes filled with coolant run through the ground outside your home, absorbing the warmth of the Earth. Then, the warm coolant is pumped into your home through a network of pipes that radiate heat.

This method is effective and requires no additional fuel or energy.

 Solar

Then, of course, there is the most obvious and readily available source of heat to the whole planet: the sun. Solar heating systems can be either active or passive, which essentially just depends on whether additional specialized equipment is to be installed.

Obviously, solar heating systems are a better choice for areas that get a lot of sunlight year round.

Whichever environmentally friendly heating solution you choose, they have the added benefit of lowering your heating bill, which is always welcome. If you have any questions about having one of these systems installed in your home, give Premier Indoor Comfort Systems a call today!

 

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How Effective is Geothermal Heating? A Guide From Atlanta

Friday, October 7th, 2011

Geothermal heating is an efficient way to use the Earth’s natural resources to heat a building’s interior in Atlanta. But is it an effective way? Of course.

Consider the cost of geothermal heating. Once you get past the initial installation costs of a geothermal heating system, which are higher than other conventional heating systems, its operating costs are much lower because of its use of a natural, renewable heat source – the Earth. If you plan to stay in your home for many years, a geothermal heating system will likely pay for itself because according to International Ground Source Heat Pump Association, geothermal operating efficiencies are 50-70% higher than other heating systems, which represents a substantial lowering of energy costs.

And according to a leading electric utility company, the cost of electricity for operating a geothermal heat pump is lower than any other heating system which includes natural gas, propane, and oil.

Beyond lower energy costs, geothermal heating leaves a smaller carbon footprint than other heating systems. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the average U.S. home is 17%, most of which comes from burning fossil fuels for electricity. Geothermal uses natural heat from the ground and therefore uses 30-60% less energy than more conventional heating and cooling systems. Using less energy equals less carbon dioxide production.

A geothermal heating system is only as effective as the equipment used to deliver it throughout the building. The most common delivery method is through a ground source heat pump. This pump pulls the heat from the earth and distributes it. When properly installed and maintained, a ground source heat pump can last 15-20 years and provide an excellent source for heating – and cooling.

The components of a geothermal system also include a compressor, air handling unit, and duct system. When all are installed and maintained correctly, a geothermal heating system will be just as effective in heating a building’s interior as any other heating system. Just be sure you hire a qualified heating and cooling professional to install and service your geothermal heating system.

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