Heating And Cooling With Geothermal Heat Pumps

The term geothermal literally means Earth/Ground (Geo) Heat (thermal). Geothermal, or ground source heat pumps, take advantage of the constant ground or groundwater temperatures. These heat pumps use geothermal energy to heat and/or cool your home.

A refrigerant loop with a compressor extracts heat from one side (the ground) and pumps it to the heating loop in your home. It is essentially the same process that happens in your refrigerator: heat is extracted via a compressor and refrigerant loop from the inside of your refrigerator/freezer and rejected into your house.

In the summer the geothermal heat pump reverses its cycle, if you have an air-conditioning system, and heat from the home is rejected into the ground or ground water.

What makes geothermal heat pumps such a good choice for residential heating and cooling is that they do not depend on outside air temperatures. These heat pumps will heat your home as efficiently on a windy, zero-degree winter day as on a 40-degree day. Provided of course, that your house is well insulated and tight.

Geothermal heat pumps are also a very efficient way for heating and cooling your home. They use 25-50% less energy than conventional heating and cooling systems (Source: US DOE).

Residential applications of geothermal energy systems use water-to-water or water-to-air heat pumps.

Water-to-Water Geothermal Heat Pumps

Water-to-water geothermal heat pumps are generally used for heating only. They replace the gas or oil furnace that you might currently have to heat your home and water with.

It is important to know that heat pumps work most effectively when the temperature difference between the heat source (ground) and heat sink (floor heat or radiators) is small.

Ground temperatures range anywhere from 50 to 75 degF, depending on where you live. This means that geothermal heat pumps are generally not suitable for standard hot water baseboard applications, which are designed for heating water temperatures of 180 degF. Floor heat and low-temperature radiators require water temperatures in the range of 95 to 140 degF.

Some newer heat pump models are now equipped with so-called desuperheaters that can transfer excess heat from the geothermal heat pump compressor to the domestic water heater. Your geothermal heat pump can also effectively and quickly heat water for your bathtub, shower and sinks.

Water-To-Air Geothermal Heat Pumps

These types of ground source heat pumps are generally used when you need air conditioning. The Water is the heat sink, where you reject the heat from the house. The Air is the air that is distributed through your home via ductwork.

Otherwise, these heat pumps function the same way as water-to-water heat pumps. And again, the efficiency of a geothermal heating and cooling system is far better than that of a traditional system.

Important To Know

The first step towards making a geothermal heat pump system be a reliable and efficient heating (and cooling) system for your home is to minimize the heating and cooling requirements with a well-insulated building envelope and strategically placed windows for passive solar gain.

Not only is your first cost reduced, because your system will be smaller. You will also tremendously increase the comfort of your home.

Geothermal heat pump systems are best designed and installed by professionals. It is not recommended to DIY. These systems must meet specific requirements. Especially the piping laid out in the ground, or down to the ground water table, must be designed and installed correctly to ensure that your geothermal heat pump system works as intended.

Christiane Perrin is a registered professional HVAC engineer with a passion for the environment. She is excited about the building industry going green and wants to support homeowners on their journey to building and remodeling green homes. http://www.greenandsustainablebuildings.com

Improve Your Home’s Heating and Cooling with a New Digital Thermostat

With the arrival of fall comes football, the changing of colors and colder weather. As the temperatures start to drop outside, it is important to make sure that your heating and cooling systems are prepared to keep you warm on the inside. A proper thermostat and HVAC inspection will ensure that your system is up and running to its optimal performance.


Many homeowners may be familiar with the older, more traditional circular thermostats that are in homes today, and while these do the general job of a thermostat (keep your house warm/cold when it needs to be); they do not offer you the options of zoning control and air quality control. Enter the new digital thermostats that are available today. These new thermostats, such as the Trane Comfortlink II, offering homeowners the ability to control how hot/cold it is in certain rooms, the quality of air that is coming into their household and even a digital photo frame! Some of these thermostats can be connected to your wireless internet and show you up to date weather, monitor your systems temperatures and how they relate to outdoor temperatures and also set up scheduling times for when the heating and cooling systems should be on and off. On top of these incredible options, the system also will help you save some money, by allowing you to keep a closer eye on when your heating and cooling systems are on and off.Have a room that no one uses? You can shut off the heating to that room with the thermostat instead of just shutting the vents to that room. In time these new digital thermostats will pay for themselves, and then more.

HVAC Inspection

During this time of year it is important to have a heating and cooling system inspection, not only to help determine if you have any leaks or cracks in your system, but to also ensure that everything is in working order. It is important to note that while checking the filters in your system is important, it should not be considered an “inspection”. A full inspection conducted by a HVAC installer on your heating and cooling system will not only prevent potential damage and breakdowns in the future, but will also give you assurance that your system is running in peak operating condition. A full inspection should cover everything from ensuring that the system is running correctly during a normal cycle to checking carbon monoxide levels near the furnace/boiler and heat registers.

With a new digital thermostat and a heating and cooling system inspection done by a HVAC professional, you can ensure that your home will be warm and toasty during the upcoming winter months and that you will also have extra money in your pocket from the efficiency of your system and thermostat working together.

About Colonial Heating and Cooling
A home is arguably the largest investment that many of us will ever make in our lifetimes. Choose the air conditioning & heating experts to install or repair HVAC systems in your home. Colonial Heating & Cooling has professional repair and installation professionals. We are a “Trane Comfort Specialist Dealer” meaning that we sell and install Trane heating and air conditioning products. We service, install and sell a variety of other air conditioning & heating systems and components such as boilers, tankless hot water heaters, air filtration systems, thermostats, and duct cleaning. For more information on Colonial Heating and Cooling please visit us at http://www.michiganhvacrepair.com .

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Top five Ways to Keep Your current Heating and Cooling System

Just a few things you are able to do to help ensure the best operation and comfort from your heating and cooling system.

Notice! Always disconnect the power before removing access panels. There can be a number of electrical power connections. Be cautious while handling components or reaching inside machines.

1. Check your filter every 30 days. Dirty filters will burden your heater, air conditioner or heat pump. Your current filter needs to be changed out or washed, if you have the reusable variety, when necessary. In the event you do use a reusable filter, dry thoroughlybeforere-installing it.

2. Cleanse your pre-filter and collection cells of your electronic air cleaner every 4 to 6 months.

3. Dust your interior coil using a vacuum cleaner and soft-brush attachment. Be sure to get rid of any dust from the top and bottom of the coil. Examine first of all to verify the coil is dry. If you are unable to get the coil clean in this way, contact an expert for service.

4. Remove waste from around your outside condensing unit. In this way it should only require minimal care to function safely. Look into the base pan under the unit from time to time to assist the unit drain correctly. To clean an unclean coil, make use of a brush or maybe a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment for surface grunge. To clean dirt which is deep inside the coil, call a professional for service.

5. Coastal regions have their very own demanding situations for outdoor condensing appliances, which means your machine will require special care. Ocean spray and coastal winds carry salt, which is corrosive to most metals. Although most up-to-date equipment is made out of galvanized metal and protected by way of specially formulated paint, you can increase the life of your unit by means of washing every bared surfaces and the coil each and every 3 months.

These 5 tips can begin you on your journey of saving money by way of proper maintenance of your heating and cooling system.

Heat NW is located in Vancouver Washington and can serve all of your Heating and Cooling needs. We serve Southwest Washington and the Greater Portland area. No job too big or too small, give us a call 360-771-2237

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What the Department of Energy Thinks About Your Air Conditioner

If you’ve spent more than five minutes rolling through our website, you’ve likely discovered that we’re strong believers that regular maintenance on your HVAC system can keep it running smoothly and efficiently throughout the year. Why We Believe in Preventative Maintenance on Your HVAC System We often compare it to your automobile that needs regular inspections and…
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How To Choose The Right Home Heating System

The type of heating system you use in your home can have a huge impact not just on your monthly bills but on comfort as well. And if you are using a system that has been in use for more than 20 years, there is a big chance that you are paying more in operational costs compared to newer models. So if you are thinking of purchasing a new home, pick one that has a new and well designed heating system. You might be paying a bit more, but the benefits can save you money in the long run.

When it comes to choosing a new system, a person must have at least a basic understanding of the said system, its efficiency and initial and long term operational cost.
These are the factors that you need to consider:

Energy Source

In most places in the US, natural gas is the preferred heating fuel. And in places where natural gas is not present, the alternative is to use LPG or propane gas.
Electric heating systems are also a preferred option, but only in places with less severe climate fluctuations. Fuel oil on the other hand is less common, but is the preferred choice in some areas of the Northeast.

Distribution System

Most home heating systems uses forced air or circulating hot water to circulate heat throughout the property. Forced air heating distributes hot air throughout the home through registers and air ducts. A hot water system on the other hand uses a boiler to heat water and distributes said water through plastic or copper piping radiators. There are hot water systems that distribute hot water through pipes within the floor slab, which then evenly distributes the heat throughout the space.


The better the efficiency, the less the operational cost becomes. Think of it this way, any amount you save on your annual electric bill adds up throughout the system’s lifetime.

For residential spaces, the efficiency rating standards are Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, for oil, propane and gas systems, and Heating Season Performance Factor for electric systems.

Both systems factor in operating losses as well as seasonal outdoor temperature spikes.

Overall Cost

When comparing different heating systems costs, you should factor in both the initial and long term operational cost of the system. Checking the EnergyGuide label can provide you with an annual energy cost estimate.

A qualified heating and cooling contractor can easily give you an estimate of the regular maintenance cost of each system.

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Evaporative Cooling in Your Home

This article was created with the assistance of http://aspenair.com.au/cooling/evaporative For a great deal on all air conditioning visit http://aspenair.com.au

Evaporative cooling basically evaporates water into the air to create a cooling effect. A simple example of this principle at work is putting a wet cloth in front of an open window and cooling the air as it passes through the cloth. An evaporative system for cooling is quite an effective way to cool your home. This is an excellent system that provides you with a cool and comfortable environment through a network of outlets located in the ceiling.

Economically speaking, the initial cost and operation of an evaporative cooling system is far less than a traditional one. Basically, the two essential mechanical parts you need to deal with in the evaporative system are the water pump and the fan motor. Both can be easily repaired when needed. Controls usually consist of on-off switches, timers, and thermostats. Operating costs are about 1/3 of that of conventional air-conditioning.

Evaporative cooling is more affordable for industries. Discomfort in the work place leads to low production and absent employees, not to mention health issues. The constant re-circulation of air inside an industrial building may lead to what is usually referred to as “Sick Building Syndrome,” when stale and contaminated air is shared by everyone in the environment. An evaporative cooler changes the air every 1-3 minutes, instead of re-circulating it.

Overusing chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s) is the one major cause of air pollution. Ordinary air-conditioners produce these CFC’s into the atmosphere, evaporative cooler system does not. It uses 100% fresh air and cleans the cooled air it produces.

There are indirect and direct evaporative cooling systems. The indirect evaporative cooler is more expensive and uses a heat exchanger which keeps humidity lower. On the other hand, a direct evaporative cooler blows air through a water-soaked pad. The air is filtered and cooled as it passes through the pad. Direct evaporative coolers run about $700 – $1000, installed.

Usually, an evaporative cooler is installed on the roof of a building, or sometimes it is mounted on the ground in a shaded area. Service and maintenance should be done regularly. If the system has not been used for awhile, drip pans need to be cleaned to prevent mold caused by stagnant water. If natural fiber pads are used, they should be replaced every year.

Further information can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evaporative_cooler

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