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Geothermal Energy: The World’s Greenest Heating and Cooling System

Geothermal heating and cooling systems are highly efficient, environmentally friendly, and cost little to operate. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, this type of HVAC system is the best for the environment. Geothermal energy, located underground, is available everywhere, and geothermal heating and cooling systems have been found to be more efficient than conventional heating and cooling systems, and cost less to operate each season.

While you may not be familiar with these systems, modern geothermal heating and cooling has been in use for decades. Actual savings varies based on climate and the type of HVAC system you’re switching from. Installing a geothermal system may qualify you to receive incentives from federal, state, and local sources, further reducing your costs.

A geothermal system uses constant below-ground temperatures as an energy source to heat and cool your home. The geothermal system exchanges heat with the earth to provide comfortable, consistent temperatures in your home. Using this natural energy medium, geothermal systems can offer efficiencies of up to 600 percent!

A geothermal heating and cooling system is comprised of two main components: the geothermal heat pump and the ground loop. These components work together to extract heat from below ground and move it into your living space in the winter and to deposit excess heat back into the earth in the summer to provide cooling. Geothermal systems can also be set up to provide the home with hot water. Options such as variable fans and two-speed compressors can create even more energy savings for a homeowner. This equipment offers quiet operation and extended service life while requiring very little maintenance.

Installing a geothermal system is more expensive than installing an air-source heat pump or other conventional heating and cooling equipment. Don’t let the installation costs turn you off — geothermal systems offer quick returns, with payback periods between 5 and 10 years. The heat pump component has an estimated service life of 25 years (50 years for the ground loop), allowing you to save for years to come.

Check out your energy savings!

Savings Calculator

 
 

7 Series - 700A11

The ultimate in luxury featuring variable capacity efficiency.

5 Series - 500A11

Upscale comfort with dual capacity efficiency.

3 Series - 300A11

A smart value utilizing dual capacity efficiency.

Efficiency

closed earth loop

5.1 - 5.3 COP
36.0 - 41.0 EER

3.7 - 4.4 COP
18.0 - 23.0 EER
(single speed)

4.1 - 4.8 COP
23.4 - 30.0 EER
(dual capacity)

3.7 - 4.1 COP
20.6 - 22.3 EER

Compressor

Variable capacity scroll

Scroll

Scroll

Blower

ECM variable speed

ECM variable speed
ECM 5-speed
ECM 3-speed
(not available in dual capacity units)

ECM 5-speed

Stages

*with auxiliary heat

Variable capacity heat*,
Variable capacity cool

2 Heat*, 1 cool
(single speed)

3 Heat*, 2 cool
(dual capacity)

3 Heat*, 2 cool

Zone
Control

IntelliZone2
Up to 6 zones

IntelliZone2
Up to 4 zones

IntelliZone2 24V
Up to 4 zones

Control

  • Aurora Variable Speed Controller with energy and refrigeration monitoring standard
  • Optional performance monitoring
  • Aurora Interface Diagnostic (AID) Tool

  • Aurora Base Controller
  • Optional Aurora Advanced Controller (AXB) with
  • energy monitoring
  • Optional performance monitoring
  • Optional refrigeration monitoring
  • Aurora Interface Diagnostic (AID) Tool

  • Aurora Base Controller
  • Aurora Interface Diagnostic (AID) Tool

Cabinet
Configurations

  • Vertical top, bottom, or rear discharge
  • Horizontal end or side discharge
  • All left or right return

  • Vertical top, bottom, or rear discharge
  • Horizontal end or side discharge
  • All left or right return

  • Vertical top flow
  • Horizontal side
    or end discharge
  • Vertical top flow

Hot Water
Generator

Optional
Internal mount pump

Optional
Internal mount pump

Optional
Internal mount pump

Auxiliary
Heat

Optional
Internal mount on
vertical top flow & bottom flow

Optional
Internal mount on
vertical top flow & bottom flow

Optional
Internal mount on vertical
top flow.

Air Coil

Coated

Coated

All-Aluminum

Refrigerant

R-410A

R-410A

R-410A

Sizes

3 thru 5 ton
(3 sizes)

2 thru 6 ton single speed (7 sizes)
2 thru 6 ton dual capacity (5 sizes)

2 thru 6 ton dual capacity (5 sizes)

Warranty

10 year parts, 5 year labor allowance on internal parts

 

5 year parts, 5 year labor allowance on accessories

 

10 year parts, 10 year labor allowance on internal parts available for buy-up

10 year parts, 5 year labor allowance on internal parts

 

5 year parts, 5 year labor allowance on accessories

 

10 year parts, 10 year labor allowance on internal parts available for buy-up

5 year parts, 5 year labor allowance on refrigeration components

 

2 year parts, 2 year labor allowance on all other parts and accessories

 

5 year all parts and labor available for buy-up

ENERGY STAR Rated

Yes
All Sizes

Yes
All Sizes except
NS070 with PSC

Yes
All Sizes

Types of Geothermal Loops

Geothermal systems use the combined efforts of the heating and cooling unit and the ground loop to keep your home comfortable. The earth loop, commonly called the ground loop, is fluid filled piping that is installed on your property either horizontally or vertically. There are also applications where they can be inserted into a body of water, like a pond, or even a natural spring well if available. The loop transfers energy in and out of your home depending if it is in heating or cooling mode. There are several options for consumers to choose from when it comes to geothermal loop design. When your heating and cooling contractor quotes the job there are several factors that go into deciding which type of loop is best for your application. Some of these factors include the space available and the type of ground make up found deep below the surface. Here is some additional information on the various types of ground loops...

Closed Loop Systems - Vertical

To install a vertical closed loop, deep wells are drilled into the ground, extending 100 to 400 feet. The system will include multiple wells which are spaced about 20 feet apart. To build the loop, two lengths of piping, which are joined with a U-bend, are extended into the well. At the top, they are connected to a horizontal pipe which extends to the home or building’s geothermal heat pump. Vertical closed loops require a smaller amount of available land, compared to other loop configurations, this makes them ideal for installations on smaller properties, or when the structure is so large that the land space needed for a horizontal configuration is too expensive, which is often the case with bigger commercial facilities. In an area where soil is too shallow to be trenched, vertical loop installation may be preferable. Because this configuration requires less land area compared to other configurations, it can be used if there are important landscape and surface elements which the owner does not want disturbed.

Lexington Geothermal Vertical Loop | Climate Control

Closed Loop Systems - Horizontal

Lexington Geothermal Horizontal Loop | Climate Control

A horizontal closed loop requires a larger amount of land; the actual size required will depend on the specifics of the application. Trenches are dug on the property, which will be four feet deep or more. Loop piping will be installed within the trenches. Horizontal closed loops can be configured in many ways. Piping may be installed with one length several feet below another in a deeper trench, with two lengths laid next to each other in a wide trench, or by using the Slinky™ method, which involves a coiled piece of piping placed below the top length of piping. The Slinky™ method may be preferred if you have less space available than what is typically needed to install a ground loop, as it allows more piping to be installed in a smaller area. This method can also reduce installation costs. Most residential geothermal heating and cooling systems utilize a horizontal closed loop configuration. System designers must calculate the amount of space needed for the system to determine if a horizontal loop can be used. Installing a horizontal ground loop may result in more disturbance to the yard and landscaping compared to a vertical loop.

Closed Loop Systems - Pond / Lake

A closed loop system can also be installed into a body of water, if available. Properties with ponds or lakes may be able to utilize this configuration rather than a vertical or closed loop. Supply lines are ran underground from the structure to the body of water, and coiled piping is placed a minimum of 8 feet below the surface. If a body of water is available, a pond or lake closed loop may be the most affordable configuration for home or business owners. Less trenching is required compared to vertical and horizontal loops, reducing the cost of installation. If considering a pond or lake closed loop configuration, the system designer must confirm that the available body of water will meet the minimum quality, depth, and volume requirements so that the geothermal heating and cooling system can function properly.

Lexington Geothermal Pond Loop | Climate Control

Open Loop Systems

Geothermal Open Loop

The closed loop systems above circulate an anti-freeze solution to facilitate heat exchange between the ground or water source and the structure. An open loop system pulls water directly from a water source, typically a well, and discharges water directly into a well or on the surface of the earth. Piping runs from the home or business into the well, where it draws in groundwater to heat and cool the structure. Through another section of piping ran from the structure, the water is discharged back into the earth or on its surface. If adequate clean water is available on-site, an open loop system may be used. Since these loops discharge water back into the environment, the system must meet all local codes and regulations pertaining to groundwater discharge.

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