Geothermal heat is hailed by some as a greener, quieter type of heating that everyone should be adopting if they care about the environment. But others note that it really only works well under the right conditions and is quite expensive to install. So there are pros and cons, but how can you decide which one comes out ahead? Here are three questions to ask when deciding if a geothermal heat pump is likely to be the right choice for you.
1. Will a geothermal heat pump work well in your type of soil?
Some types of soil transmit heat to and from a heat pump system better than others do. The less efficient your soil is at this, the more piping you're likely to have to put in to make up for the inefficiency. And if your soil is really unsuitable, then installing the kind of geothermal that sinks pipes into a body of water rather than into the ground itself may be your only viable option. On the plus side, the water-installed type is less expensive to install because you don't have to dig all those trenches.
2. Do you have qualified professionals in your area?
Because geothermal is relatively new to the home heating market and not as mainstream as some other types of home heating and cooling, your local HVAC contractors are less likely to be well-versed in its installation. And of course you want to have an expert install it, to minimize the chances of something going wrong. But arguably more important is having an expert on hand to help with troubleshooting, maintenance, and repairs down the road. You don't want to be the case that your contractor learns from.
3. Do you have the necessary cash to invest in installation and running the system?
It's important to evaluate the entire project beforehand to make sure you really have the budget to go through with it. You'll need to have a contractor you can completely trust so you know you're getting a reliable estimate up front and won't have to cough up extra hidden fees down the road; but in addition to that, you'll need to make sure you have some set aside in your homeowners' budget for later maintenance and repairs as well as having enough in your budget for all the labor, trench digging costs, professional installation costs, fuel costs, and so on.
Contact a contractor, like All American Plumbing & Heating, for more help.