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Cleveland HVAC Blog

Planning for Geothermal? 3 Factors to Consider When Choosing a System

Posted by Paul Wadsworth on Fri, Jun 15, 2012 @ 02:42 PM

If you’re preparing to install a geothermal heating and cooling system in your home, you already know the potential these systems have for significant energy savings. The next step is planning for geothermal. Your land will “speak” to you, in a sense, and generally dictate your installation options.

Here’s what your available yard and land space will tell you when planning for geothermal:

Does it transfer heat well?

Geothermal System InstallationThe makeup of your soil and the amount of rock present will dictate the type of system you can install. Certain soil properties conduct heat better than others. If yours is conducive to heat transfer, you’ll be able to install less piping and decrease installation costs.

If you have a large amount of rock in the soil, it could disqualify a less costly horizontal looping system, and require that you install a vertical loop system, which will increase installation costs due to the required deep drilling. Horizontal systems need very careful evaluation for soil type and backfill procedures to ensure proper system performance.

Be sure to deal with an experienced loop contractor familiar with the geology of your area and make sure to be conservative in the assumptions made in constructing/designing the in ground heat transfer loop for you geothermal system. In this way, you will minimize the possibility of potential complications after the system is installed. This is definitely not an area to skimp on as you plan your system!

Do you have a water source available?

An open-loop system is often less costly to install as well. If you have the right sized lake or pond available, loops can be installed, at least 8 feet below the water’s surface. Groundwater sources can also sometimes be utilized.

An expert geothermal contractor can evaluate your land’s water availability to thoroughly explore the most cost-effective installation options.

Do you have a large, unobstructed space?

If you have a lot of free space on your lot, you'll have more inexpensive installation options from which to choose. Land that’s obstructed by landscaping, such as large trees and tree roots, as well as outbuildings located on your property, will restrict how much area you have available for digging and installing underground loops.

With a professional inspection of your land, you and your contractor can narrow down your installation choices, and then select the best, most cost-effective geothermal heating and cooling option.

Get the geothermal advantage today, and contact P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling for help in Northeast Ohio. And when planning for geothermal, be sure that you first have an expert conduct an evaluation of your soil, hydrology and land to select the best type of system for your home.

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Paul WadsworthPaul Wadsworth is the President and Owner of P.K. Wadsworth Heating and Cooling. For 37 years, Paul has been providing heating and cooling services to the Greater Cleveland area. P.K. Wadsworth has been a trusted Cleveland HVAC service company for 75 years. The company understand the area's construction and local heating and air conditioning needs. Paul has an MBA from the University of Michigan and a B.S., Industrial Engineering from Purdue University. He's been President of the Cleveland Air Conditioning Contractors of America and a founding member of the local chapter. Paul was born and raised in Cleveland and has been active in the local community. He resides in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife and two sons.

The opinions and statements contained in this article are for general informational purposes only and are not instructions. Only trained, licensed and experienced personnel should attempt installation/repair. The author assumes no liability for the opinions/statements made in this article. Any individual attempting a repair or installation based on this article does so at their own risk of loss.

Topics: geothermal heat pumps, geothermal systems, energy savings

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