All posts by Geo Cool

HVAC Safety

Home HVAC Safety

 

How often do you think about HVAC safety?

 

Probably not as much as you should. HVAC systems are an essential modern luxury, but they are not toys. If you want a 100% safe home HVAC system, you need a geothermal heat pump.

 

And I say that with (totally) 100% zero bias.

 

Real Home HVAC Safety with Geothermal

 

Geothermal blah, blah. Before I talk for a couple hundred words about how awesome geothermal heat pumps are, let’s talk about HVAC safety (or the lack thereof).

 

So, how could an HVAC system totally kill you dead?

 

Explosions! Lots & Lots of Them

 

Some home HVAC systems can, well, explode. An old furnace isn’t exactly a ticking time bomb, but it isn’t a toaster either. Gas appliances rely on a highly combustible fuel to do their job. Sometimes things just go wrong, but don’t just take my word for it.

 

You know what home HVAC system will never explode? A geothermal heat pump.

 

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning & You!

 

Gas is a terrific energy source. It can provide a lot of heat in a very cold winter. A poorly maintained gas furnace can also be a great way to die from carbon monoxide poisoning.

 

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that will kill you deader than disco. It doesn’t get much deader than that.

 

You know what home HVAC system won’t kill you with carbon monoxide? Why, a geothermal heat pump, of course!

 

Fire & Why It’s Bad

 

With a few exceptions, you don’t want a fire inside your house. Fire has a tendency to spread unpredictably. This can lead to all sorts of inconveniences like singed eyebrows and an unplanned couch bonfire.

 

Any home HVAC system that relies on gas or direct electric heat can cause a fire. Yes, most systems are designed with fail safes to prevent that, but nothing is 100%.

 

Guess what home HVAC system won’t burn your house down? If you guessed geothermal heat pump, you’re right.

 

True HVAC Safety

 

So when it comes to protecting the biggest investment of your life (i.e. – your home), you’re only ultimately safe with a geothermal heat pump. Because all other HVAC system are trying to murder you.

 

Probably.

 

green geothermal

Green Geothermal HVAC

 

Green geothermal, the climate is saved! We can have great interior air comfort without worrying about blasting contaminants into the ozone or spewing exhaust into the environment.

 

Right?

 

Is Green Geothermal Legit?

 

You gotta love marketing. Every HVAC company on the planet wants to tell you that a geothermal heat pump is the environmentally friendly solution to conventional heating and air technology. And who can blame them? After the ozone panic from decades ago and amid increasing concern about climate change, people are looking for high tech solutions to dirty tech problems.

 

But are geothermal heat pumps the panacea some make them out to be?

 

Potentially

 

Full disclosure, we here at GeoCool are, obviously, in the geothermal heat pump business. We do believe green geothermal tech is one way to protect the atmosphere without going backward to a very smelly, very sweaty way of life.

 

However, we aren’t going to tell you geothermal heat pumps are a silver bullet to cure every environmental ill. These things aren’t magic. On the other hand, they can be a big part of the solution.

 

Clean Winter Heating

 

Unless you live on a tropical beach, and I’m guessing that’s not most people, you know all about winter. Humans used to survive the cold months by burning wood. Then the Industrial Revolution gave us heating fuel oil and natural gas. These technologies work, but they pollute.

 

In the 20th Century, electrical heating systems began to replace some of these dirtier technologies. Most of that impetus came from rising oil costs rather than environmental considerations. Still, those electric heaters ran on fossil fuel power plants, so the buck was just being passed from one polluter to another.

 

The Green Geothermal Difference

 

Geothermal heat pumps have a few critical advantages over fossil fuel and electric furnaces:

 

Geothermal heat pumps rely on buried heat to boost their electric power. This means they use less energy than conventional electric furnaces.

 

Geothermal heat pumps require ZERO fossil fuels. Yes, many power plants still use fossil fuels, but it is entirely possible to run a geothermal unit entirely on renewable sources. Since they’re higher efficiency, they do this a lot better, again, than an electric furnaces.

 

So, is ‘green geothermal’ the pill to cure all our environmental ills?

 

Of course not. There is not going to be a single solution to such a complicated problem. However, geothermal heat pumps with their green potential are a step toward decreasing fossil fuel dependence, reducing annual energy consumption, and maintaining the standard of living we all want to keep.

 

geothermal dehumidification

Superior Geothermal Dehumidification

 

Let’s get one thing straight – too much humidity sucks. Now, obviously, you need some humidity. Unless you live in an actual desert this isn’t an issue for most homeowners. What you want is the right amount of humidity, and our new geothermal dehumidification technology can help you get that.

 

Allow me to explain.

 

GeoCool Geothermal Dehumidification

 

Ye olde conventional air conditioner will dehumidify. So will a geothermal heat pump or an air-source heat pump. All these HVAC systems yank water out of the air as a normal part of their operating cycle. Many homeowners can run their A/C and not worry too much about excess humidity.

 

Unfortunately, this isn’t enough for everyone. People living in super humid areas of the country often find a normal HVAC operating cycle isn’t enough to get their interior humidity to a desirable level.

 

What can they do?

 

Conventional Dehumidification

 

There are dedicated dehumidifiers on the market that do a fine job reducing excess humidity. Of course, using one of these systems means you have to buy and operate a unit that does nothing else.

 

Wouldn’t it be great if the HVAC system you have already installed could take care of all that excess water?

 

It would, so let me introduce you to GeoCool’s superior dehumidification technology. Our latest line of dual stage geothermal heat pumps is fitted with a special dehumidification sensor. When the sensor detects uncomfortably high interior humidity, your geothermal heat pump will remove it automatically.

 

Basically, the sensor instructs the unit to operate at lower capacity and on a lower fan speed. This might normally not produce the amount of cooling comfort you want, but this running cycle isn’t designed for cooling. The lower setting means the unit will run longer, cool a bit, but remove humidity at a constant rate throughout that cycle.

 

This is a good thing. Less humidity will mean your house feels more comfortable and you don’t have to set the thermostat lower to get there.

 

Someday you might wonder how you ever made it through a long hot summer without geothermal dehumidification.

 

2 stage geothermal heat pump

Our 2 Stage Geothermal Heat Pump

 

Two is better than one, right? Yes, of course, two is better than one. Unless you’re talking about diseases, then you only want one, but I digress. When it comes to compressor operating stages, two is definitely better than one. Which brings me to our newest product: the GeoCool 2 stage geothermal heat pump!

 

GeoCool 2 Stage Geothermal Heat Pump

 

“Great,” you say, “but so what? Why is a 2 stage geothermal heat pump better than a single stage unit?”

 

And I will say to you, “Good question, beloved reader.”

 

A compressor is the figurative heart of pretty much every modern HVAC system on the market. It’s the component responsible for pushing the coolant through the coils. The coolant is what lets the unit move heat around, so being able to push that coolant is very important.

 

Now, let’s talk about compressor failure.

 

The Perils of Rapid Start-Stop Operation

 

The less you use something, the longer it will last, right?

 

Not necessarily. You’ll use a pen up faster the more you use it, but HVAC compressors don’t work quite the same way. In fact, a compressor experiences the most friction and the greatest potential for wear-and-tear when it starts and when it stops.

 

Which is why 2 stage geothermal heat pumps are a better long term value than only single stage systems. Basically, the 2 stage geothermal heat pump can operate a single stage at a lower capacity over a longer period of time to minimize how often it will have to start and stop. If it really needs extra ‘oomph’, it can bring in the second stage as needed.

 

This might seem like it’s not a big deal, but it really is. A 2 stage geothermal heat pump, like our newest GeoCool model, will last longer than a similarly sized single stage system.

 

I told you two was better than one.

 

know geothermal

Do You Really Know Geothermal?

 

A lot of people think they know geothermal heat pumps. They’re the HVAC thing a friend of a friend installed to save a lot of money. Supposedly. But you know better. You know nothing could be that good.

 

Right?

 

So, You Don’t Know Geothermal!

 

Prepare for some education.

 

Your friend of a friend probably did save a lot of money. On average, geothermal heat pumps save homeowners enough money to recoup their installation costs in as little as 5 years.

 

That’s not something we just made up. Those stats come from the United States Department of Energy who, we trust, know geothermal a bit better than the average bear.

 

Or person. Whatever.

 

So, who doesn’t want to save money? The less you pay your utility company on heating and cooling the more you have to spend on important stuff like Fantasy Football leagues and movie popcorn.

 

Saving Isn’t Everything

 

Hey, saving money is great, but you shouldn’t buy a geothermal heat pump just to save money. Fortunately, there are other reasons.

 

Let’s get right down to reality. The reason everyone wants a good air conditioner or furnace is to stay comfortable. Sweating sucks and freezing isn’t any better. Does a geothermal heat pump stack up to conventional HVAC systems where it really matters?

 

Fortunately for our financial future, the answer is yes.

 

Geothermal heat pumps deliver great air comfort. The buried loop network will cool you as effectively as any good old fashioned air conditioner no matter how hot it gets outside. When winter comes around, a geothermal unit delivers the kind of heat you’d expect from a traditional gas furnace. Plus, they doesn’t suffer from the efficiency fluctuations you get with an air-source heat pump.

 

The Best of All Worlds?

 

We know geothermal, and that’s why we think these systems are truly the best way to keep your home comfortable. If you get to know geothermal, we’re certain you’ll agree.

 

geothermal season

Geothermal Season 2015!

 

Hooray! Geothermal season 2015 has finally arrived!

 

Right now you’re probably saying to yourself, “What are you talking about, mad man?”

 

Fair question. Summer is over and Fall temperatures are well on the way for a lot of the country. That means it is prime time to install a geothermal heat pump in the United States. As such, I can only assume that’s exactly what you’re preparing to do  as we speak.

 

You are, right? C’mon you wouldn’t want to disappoint me in geothermal season would you?

 

Maybe you just don’t know what’s in it for you.

 

Why You Should Install a GHP in Geothermal Season 2015

 

There are about a dozen points I could mention to persuade you to install a geothermal heat pump. I could talk about all the money you will save thanks to increased energy efficiency. I could mention how ground-source units can reduce your home’s carbon footprint. I could even direct you to substantial Federal tax credits available until 31 December 2016.

 

I could do all of those things, but I won’t.

 

The only thing that really matters to most people when we talk about home heating and cooling is comfort.

 

Geothermal Comfort in Every Season

 

So, yeah, comfort is awesome. People have air conditioners and furnaces, because sweating and freezing suck. You probably already know a geothermal heat pump can deliver heat in winter and cool air in summer, but how does a GHP stack up when it comes to raw comfort?

 

Very well, I am happy to report. A properly sized ground-source system will deliver the same or better air quality than a similarly sized air conditioner or furnace. All other things being equal, there is absolutely zero difference and nothing to lose.

 

Well, I guess you will lose somethings with geothermal. You’ll lose a few digits off your annual utility bill. And you’ll miss the costly repairs you might encounter with inferior technology. There’s that I guess.

 

So, hey, do the right this in geothermal season 1015 and upgrade your home comfort.

 

geothermal heat pump closed loop

What is a Geothermal Heat Pump Closed Loop?

 

Geothermal heat pumps are great HVAC systems, but they’re still very new to a lot of people. For example, if I said, “You need a geothermal heat pump closed loop for your home,” do you know what that means?

 

No? Don’t worry. We’re here to help.

 

Geothermal Heat Pump Closed Loop Installations

 

When it comes right down to it, you have two main choices for installing a ground-source heat pump in your home or business. You can either opt for a geothermal heat pump closed loop or an open loop system.

 

Don’t worry about open loop. I’m sure we’ll cover that in a future blog. For now, let’s talk about closed loops.

 

What is a Geothermal Heat Pump Closed Loop?

 

Geothermal heat pumps require a buried heat exchange network to do what they do. They dump heat from this network in summer, and absorb heat into it to keep your house warm in winter.

 

When we talk about a geothermal heat pump with a closed loop network, we’re talking, literally, about a closed pipe network buried underground. Think of the closed loop like an extra large condenser coil with about six feet of dirt piled on top.

 

This closed loop has some advantages. For one, many municipal governments require that geothermal heat pumps be installed in a closed network. That means you can’t just discharge water into the subsoil. A closed work let’s you get around that.

 

Why else?

 

Well, local water quality can be a consideration when it comes to geothermal heat pump installation. If your local water isn’t up to snuff, you would want to use a closed pipe network to protect the pump against corrosion and damage.

 

Simple, Right?

 

If you’re thinking, “Wow, that was really simple,” you aren’t wrong. Closed loops are pretty straightforward, and most geothermal heat pump owners rely on a closed loop installation.

 

Now you know what a geothermal heat pump closed loop is, and, remember kids, knowing is half the battle!

 

geothermal heat pump answers

5 Quick Geothermal Heat Pump Answers

 

You’ve got real geothermal heat pump questions, but you don’t have time to scour the web. Fortunately, we do have real geothermal heat pump answers, so you don’t have to.

 

Hey, you’re welcome.

 

Today’s 5 Top Geothermal Heat Pump Answers

 

We don’t have the space to answer every single geothermal heat pump question you might have. What we can do is pick some of the top geothermal questions, and give you our best information.

 

So, that’s exactly what we’ve done.

 

Question #1 – How much interior space does a geothermal heat pump need?

 

About as much as a typical HVAC unit. Most of a geothermal heat pump installation goes underground, so you don’t need a particularly large house to accommodate the system.

 

Question #2 – How noisy are geothermal heat pumps?

 

They aren’t. Outside A/C condensers can be really loud, but geothermal heat pumps don’t rely on one. All the noise a geothermal unit makes is contained in an insulated cabinet or underground.

 

Question #3 – How long will the underground pipe loop last?

 

Not very long.

 

Just kidding. Most geothermal ground loops are rated for about 50 YEARS of use. So, yeah, obviously that’s a while.

 

Question #4 – Will I really save money with geothermal?

 

Of all the geothermal heat pump answers we might provide, this is our favorite. Yes, you will save money with a geothermal heat pump. The average homeowner pays back the cost of installation in 5-10 years and some do it in as little as three.

 

Don’t believe us? Just ask the U.S. Department of Energy what they think.

 

Question #5 – Is geothermal really good for the environment?

 

Yes, they are.

 

You’re using electricity, right? Since you’re reading this on the Internet, I’m going to assume you are. That electricity comes from a power plant that’s most likely running on fossil fuels. It takes a lot of energy from fossil fuels to power America’s thirsty air conditioners.

 

Geothermal heat pumps are remarkably energy efficient, so you won’t need as much electricity as you once did. If we all used less, there would be a lot fewer carbon emissions released into the atmosphere. That is clearly better for the environment.

 

But, I’ve still got questions!

 

Don’t worry, we’ll be back in future blogs with more geothermal heat pump answers. Of course, if you have a burning question, just ask in the comments or drop us a line via email.

 

We’d love to hear from you!

 

geothermal heat pumps really heat and cool

Do Geothermal Heat Pumps Really Heat and Cool?

 

Geothermal heat pumps are supposedly these amazing machines that do everything for everyone, but is the hype real? Do geothermal heat pumps really heat and cool? Is it all too good to be true? Do all dogs go to Heaven? How much wood can a woodchuck reliably chuck?

 

I don’t have all the answers, but I do know one thing:

 

Yes, Geothermal Heat Pumps Really Heat and Cool

 

Geothermal heat pumps really heat and cool, and it’s great for homeowners across the country. Of course, the question you are probably asking now is, “Okay, so how do they do that?”

 

It’s science, folks – very, very good science.

 

Ground-Source Beats Air-Source

 

A basic heat pump, sometimes called an air-source heat pump, relies on the refrigeration cycle to heat and cool your home. Basically, these systems use a chemical refrigerant to move heat from one location to another. When you need cooling the heat pump extracts the heat from inside your house. When you want to stay warm the heat pump takes outside heat and pumps it inside.

 

Simple.

 

The problem with a regular heat pump and heating has to do with one simple fact: cold winter air doesn’t have a lot of heat in it. The less heat, the less efficiently an air-source heat pump functions. If it gets cold enough, the heat pump will stop working altogether.

 

Geothermal heat pumps solve this problem very easily. Instead of relying on the air as a heat source and heat sink, a ground-source unit uses the Earth itself. A closed loop pipe network buried only a few feet beneath the ground surface gives a geothermal heat pump access to a stable temperature environment all year long. This means it can always heat you up when you’re getting cold. And, of course, can always keep you cool no matter how hot it gets outside.

 

Now you see how geothermal heat pumps really heat and cool whenever you need them, in just about every weather condition.

 

Except maybe earthquakes. I’m not too sure about that.

 

real geothermal heat pump advantages

Real Geothermal Heat Pump Advantages

 

Do a search for green HVAC solutions and you’ll find a lot of advertisements for geothermal heat pumps. These systems can seemingly do everything. Honestly, it all sounds a little too good to be true. Is it all smoke and mirrors or are there real geothermal heat pump advantages other systems just don’t have?

 

It’s time to find out.

 

Real Geothermal Heat Pump Advantages

 

Geothermal heat pumps are a great way to heat and cool your home all year round, in any weather condition. They’re basically air-source heat pumps that utilize the Earth itself as both a heat sink and a heat source.

 

Which is technologically cool, but it’s even more than that. A geothermal heat pump’s unique operating medium gives it abilities other HVAC units cannot match.

 

Geothermal Advantage #1 – Life Span

 

The main time people think about HVAC is when their unit breaks down. This sucks. Not only are they either sweating or freezing without conditioned air, but they might have to pay big bucks to get it back. It gets even worse when you imagine that everyone who owns an HVAC unit will go through that process about every 10-15 years.

 

Which brings us to one real geothermal heat pump advantage: life span. Geothermal heat pumps are totally protected against the elements. Six feet of dirt and rock protect the underground loop network and your house protects the main pump and compressor. Many geothermal units are rated for 20 years of operation, and the ground loop itself could easily last more than 50.

 

Geothermal Advantage #2 – Desuperheater

 

Hot showers are amazing. Did you know if you buy a geothermal heat pump with a desuperheater you can  get hot water for showers, laundry, and other household uses as a byproduct of system operation?

 

It’s true! And pretty amazing actually. You get hot water from the same energy you use to get air comfort. Basically, desuperheaters are a great way to save.

 

Geothermal Advantage #3 – Unparalleled Energy Efficiency

 

You like money, right? Of course, you do. Everybody likes money. It would be nice if you could get great air comfort while you save money.

 

You can. The biggest real geothermal heat pump advantage is their unparalleled energy efficiency. Just about every household that installs a geothermal unit will save, and some save as much as 80% on their annual utility bill.

 

80% is a lot.

 

As you can see, there are real, substantial advantages to using a geothermal heat pump in your home. What are you waiting for?