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

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?

The 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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