Achieving higher building performance is pretty simple if you're retrofitting from a fossil fuel to a geothermal system. At best a fossil fuel system is 80-98 percent efficient, but a geothermal system is 400-500 percent efficient depending on the design of the system. These are the ultimate systems: ultimate in efficiency, ultimate in quiet operation, ultimate in comfort.
The geothermal also has a hot water assist package, saving the homeowner 60-70 percent on their domestic water heating.
Another thing to consider as you're replacing your old system is zoning. You might have areas that are hard to heat or you just don't want to keep a certain area the same as the rest of the home- maybe the second floor isn't comfortable. A little ductwork change, a few zone dampers and now you have a better preforming and more comfortable system.
Seal the ductwork. An amazing amount of air is lost in duct that is not sealed. We have sealed the duct where we can in all of the retrofit homes that we've installed geothermals. It makes a big difference in air filtration and delivery.
After you put your new unit in, look at the shell of the home and see if there are areas you could add insulation. Typically the attic and basement are the easiest areas to insulate and usually need it the most.
These expert insights are provided by Mike Roberts, an ACE (Approved Contributing Expert) with ProudGreenHome, owner of First Geothermal Energy and an Enertech Global LLC geothermal dealer.
Mike Roberts is a geothermal expert and has been installing geothermal systems since the 1990’s when his company started installing geothermal heating and cooling systems. Time and experience have proven the geothermal technology is not only viable, but that it is often the best option for most new and replacement climate control systems in Ohio, where he’s based. In 2008, he founded First Geothermal Energy and he's an Enertech dealer.