Air Mechanical, Inc. Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Geothermal’

Geothermal Tip: Saving Energy with Geothermal

Monday, January 7th, 2013

Keeping your home comfortable should be a top priority for any homeowner. The high costs of energy, though, can dissuade many people from keeping their homes as comfortable as they would like. With the installation of a geothermal heating and cooling system in Ham Lake you can greatly reduce the amount of energy you consume while still keeping your home effectively heated and cooled. If you would like to learn more about Ham Lake geothermal heating and air conditioning systems, contact Air Mechanical today. We have some information for you about how you can start saving energy with geothermal technology.

One important factor to keep in mind in order to maintain high efficiency heating and cooling output from your geothermal system is to know precisely where your geothermal loop system is installed. If you have any work done on your home you need to keep the digging away from this loop system. The geothermal loop system is responsible for drawing heat from the ground surrounding your property for use in your home. If this loop system is compromised or damaged your geothermal heating and cooling system will not operate efficiently.

You may also want to consider using your geothermal system to heat the water you need for showering and cleaning around the house. During operation in the cooling season your geothermal system will dump excess heat right back into the ground. You can use this heat to heat water that can be used in your home. Why pay for hot water service when you are just putting heat back into the ground anyway?

Be sure to fully understand the temperature controls of your geothermal heating and cooling system as well. A lot of inefficiency stems from simple human error. Get to know your thermostat or zone control systems in order to get the most out of these devices. This will allow you to use them, and your system as a whole, more efficiently.

If you have any questions about how you can get a more efficient performance out of your geothermal heating and cooling system in Ham Lake, call Air Mechanical. We have all the answers you need. Let us help you save money by reducing the amounts of energy you use.

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Geothermal FAQ: Which Geothermal Heating Maintenance Service Should I Request Before Winter?

Monday, October 15th, 2012

Are you wondering what type of maintenance service to schedule for your geothermal heating system before winter arrives? While geothermal systems do require regular maintenance just like any other HVAC system, the good news is that there’s very little maintenance required for the seasonal tune-up. That means you save even more money on operating costs.

The Blaine geothermal experts at Air Mechanical can answer all your questions about geothermal heating and air conditioning. We also provide maintenance programs to help you keep track of the preventive maintenance for your heating system.

In addition to filter changes and routine cleaning, here are a few things that will need to be checked to ensure that your system works properly.

  • Check for any hidden issues
  • Check fan blowers
  • Replace any worn parts
  • Test thermostat
  • Inspect heat exchanger
  • Lubricate moving components
  • Test air flow
  • Inspect all wiring Test controls

 Duct Cleaning and Repair

After the items above have been tested and checked, we will also inspect your ductwork to ensure that there are no air leaks or other damages that may affect the efficiency of your system. We provide duct cleaning and duct repair if there are any issues with your air ducts. A duct cleaning service can improve indoor air quality as well. We also provide dryer vent cleanings to protect your home from one of the most common causes of house fires. These can all be taken care of during the fall maintenance visit.

Air Mechanical can take care of all your Blaine geothermal maintenance and repair needs. Scheduling your annual tune-up before winter arrives will help to ensure that there are no issues throughout the heating season. Call today to set up an appointment with one of our geothermal heating technicians.

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Heating Contractor Guide: Components of a Geothermal Heating System

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

A geothermal heating system in your East Bethel home has three basic components and some add-on ones as well.

Its most distinguishing feature is the ground loops. The most common is the closed ground loop system, which is a series of pipes that are buried underground. These pipes contain a heat transfer fluid, comprised of antifreeze and water. This fluid absorbs heat from the ground and carries it to the home. This fluid also absorbs heat from the house and sends it into the ground to keep the home cool.

Examples of closed loop systems include the horizontal closed loop, which can be used in larger parcels of land (over an acre for example). The loops are placed typically placed horizontally 6-to-10 feet below the surface. A vertical closed loop design is recommended for smaller parcels of land and loops are often buried vertically approximately 20 feet underground. Other types of ground loop designs use well water to transfer heat in an open loop configuration, or have a closed loop submerged underwater in a pond or lake.

The next component is the heat pump, which draws the fluid from the ground loop. In a heat pump, heat energy is exchanged with the ground to heat or cool the home. In the heating mode, fluid warmed from underground flows through the heat pump. A fan blows across the pipe warmed by the fluid. Because the fluid is much warmer than the air inside the heat pump, heat energy is released into the cooler air. The cool air is warmed and distributed inside the home. The process is reversed for cooling. Cool fluid in the pipe absorbs heat from the warm air inside the home. Once pumped underground, the excess heat in the fluid is absorbed by the cooler earth.

The final component is the air handling or distribution system. Here, a fan in the heat pump’s furnace blows air over a fan coil and the heated cooled air is distributed through the home’s ductwork. Some distribution systems are hydronic, where hot water is circulated through radiators or radiant floor heat tubing. This water absorbs heat from the heat pump and then distributed throughout the home.

In some homes, both a forced air and hydronic system, often referred to as a “hybrid system” work together.

Optional components include a heat pump “desuperheater,” which is used to help with domestic hot water heating. In warm weather, the desuperheater recovers some of the heat – that would otherwise be sent to the ground loop – to help produce hot water. In cold weather, some of the heat pump capacity may be diverted from space heating for the same purpose. Desuperheaters save approximately 25% on domestic water heating costs.

Another component is an auxiliary electric heater, which is built into the geothermal heat pump. This auxiliary electric heat is installed to allow East Bethel heating and cooling technicians to size – or resize – a home’s geothermal heat pump system to assist the system during the few coldest days of the year. Auxiliary electric heat is also an emergency backup heat source if there are any operational issues with the geothermal heat pump system.

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How Often Should I Have My North Oaks Geothermal System Checked?

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

The beauty of a geothermal system for your North Oaks home is that is requires very little maintenance. They have fewer mechanical components are than other heating systems – and most of these components are underground or inside, shielded from the outdoor elements. The underground tubing usually is guaranteed to last 25-50 years and inside components are easily accessible for servicing.

Nonetheless, keeping a geothermal system working at peak efficiency is very important. If the geothermal system loses some of its efficiency, it will cost home and building owners money in energy costs, which makes little sense since geothermal system installation costs are higher than most other heating systems.

Its key component is the ground loop system, polyethelene tubing which carries refrigerant from below the Earth’s surface and back to an above-ground compressor. When installed correctly, the buried ground loop can last for decades. A leak in the metal tubing is usually the only problem if the ground loop is not installed correctly. In the case of a leak, it may be necessary to dig up the tubing – often installed at least ten feet below the surface – and repair the leak.

Other geothermal system components include its air handling unit, compressor, and pump. These components require periodic system checks by qualified heating and cooling technicians. Maintenance normally requires filter changes and component lubrication, to name the most common. In some cases, building owners can perform their own filter replacement and refill of lubricants. However, it is recommended that an experienced technician perform a multiple-point inspection of the geothermal system components, usually during regularly scheduled annual or bi-annual service calls.

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$500 Off Geothermal Installation!

Friday, October 7th, 2011

Have you ever thought of installing geothermal heating in your house? Geothermal heating is a renewable heating system that extracts heat from the ground. It can be used in the winter to heat your house AND in the summer to cool it! And we are offering a special deal on Geothermal Installation – $500 off! This incredible offer (not to be combined with any other offers) is available to residential sales only, so if you have been thinking about getting a geothermal heating system installed in your house, now is your chance! Call for details: 763-634-8030.

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Geothermal Myths

Friday, September 16th, 2011

As with any misunderstood technology, there are a lot of myths and misconceptions concerning geothermal heat pumps and how well they work in your Blaine home. While these types of systems certainly have their limitations, the same is true of just about any type of heating and cooling system you could have installed in your home. But if you are really trying to evaluate whether or not a geothermal heating system is right for your home, you need to know exactly what is true about these systems and what is just not true.

For instance, there is a widely held belief that geothermal energy is not a viable heating option in areas with harsh winters. The fact is, though, that even when the air temperature outside is below freezing, the temperature several feet below ground can be as high as 55°F.

With a ground temperature like that, a geothermal heat pump will have no trouble extracting enough heat to keep your home comfortable even when it is well below freezing outside. And even when the ground freezes, the frost usually only extends three or four feet below the surface. Since the pipes for your geothermal heat pump will be at least four feet down, the frost should not affect them at all.

Also, it is common for people to assume that geothermal heat pumps will always need to have a regular heating system in place to serve as a backup. In fact, a geothermal heat pump is quite capable of providing consistent and adequate heating for your entire house as long as it is properly sized and installed. Make sure you are dealing with an experienced and qualified contractor and you will have no problems along these lines.

There are also plenty of myths floating around out there that geothermal heat pumps are just too expensive to make sense as a home heating solution. The truth is that geothermal heating costs almost nothing to operate.

While it is true the geothermal systems are quite a bit more expensive to install than many of the other options, alternative heating systems will still cost a significant amount to install and you will also have to pay much more to operate them on a regular basis. With a geothermal heating system, you pay quite a bit up front, but it is a one-time cost and there will be minimal monthly heating bills after that.

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Will Switching to Geothermal Save Me Money? A Question From Chanhassen

Monday, September 12th, 2011

There are simply a ton of different types of heating systems in Chanhassen and they are each more appropriate in different situations. However, some are certainly always going to be cheaper to operate than others, although that alone may not make one or the other right for you.

In the case of geothermal heating systems, the operating costs are definitely quite low. But those are not the only costs you will have to think about when you are considering what type of heating system to put in your home to keep your heating bills down.

Geothermal heating systems do not actually generate heat – they absorb it from the ground. Because of this, they actually use very little energy when they are running. All you are really paying to power is the fan that blows the heated air around your house. Also, because geothermal heating systems are more efficient at extracting heat in below freezing conditions than traditional heat pumps, they can continue to keep you warm on their own in more extreme conditions.

Traditional heat pumps, while they also cost very little to operate, do sometimes need to be supplemented by more conventional forms of indoor heating like a furnace when temperatures outdoors get too low. This is not the case with geothermal heat pumps, so if you live somewhere that has colder winters, a geothermal heat pump may be just what you are looking for. Of course, you can always opt for a furnace instead, but these will definitely cost more to run than either type of heat pump.

When you are trying to assess whether or not switching to a geothermal heating system will save you money, you first have to start with the heating bills you currently have. Then, factor in the cost of the geothermal heat pump installation as opposed to the installation of a more conventional system.

You are then in a position to see whether or not the amount the geothermal system will save you each month is enough to offset the higher cost of installation within a reasonable amount of time. Of course, the savings will always eventually add up over time, but if the length of time it will take you to break even is the same or longer than the expected life of the system, it is probably not worth it to invest in this type of heating.

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How Does Geothermal Energy Work? A Question From Stillwater

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Geothermal energy is energy extracted from the ground, in Stillwater or anywhere. This energy is in the ground in the first place because the ground absorbs the heat coming from the sun. This heat is always there, even when it is very cold outside. In fact, even when the ground appears to be frozen, you can actually extract plenty of heat to keep your home nice and toasty.

While this may at first appear to defy logic, the way that geothermal energy can be used for heating your home is actually quite simple. A geothermal heating system typically consists of an indoor air handler with a fan, a series of air ducts for the heated air to travel through and a closed loop of pipe that extends into the ground below and around your home.

This closed loop of pipe is actually where the geothermal heat is collected. Some type of liquid, usually water or antifreeze, will be continuously run through this pipe loop. As the liquid passes through the area of pipe that is below ground, it will absorb the heat from the surrounding soil. Once the liquid makes it back up to the air handler, the heat is able to disperse, heating the air in the chamber.

This heated air is then circulated throughout your house through the ducts by a fan. After it has released its heat into the air in your home, the liquid will cycle back into the ground to absorb more. This allows a geothermal heating system to provide you with a constant supply of warm air.

Unlike a furnace, which mixes in blasts of very hot air with periods of inactivity to try and keep your house at a constant temperature, a geothermal heat pump is able to provide a more consistent flow of air that is just the right temperature to keep your home comfortable. This means that these types of heat pumps are running just about all of the time as opposed to furnaces, but they are designed to work this way and the constant operation does not cause any excessive wear and tear.

Another great benefit of geothermal heat pumps is that they are able to keep your house cool in the summer as well. Just as the ground is warmer than the air in the winter, it is also cooler in the summer. That means that heat removed from your indoor air can be transferred to the ground in the same way that it was transferred in during the winter.

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