Geothermal heating and cooling represents a sizable investment that can reap substantial savings. Geothermal works particularly well for new construction, because it can be incorporated into the design of the home and open up more installation options. Of course, geothermal heating and cooling can also be installed as a replacement for your existing HVAC system, but it may require some additional work to retrofit your home for geothermal.
Whether your home would require retrofitting for geothermal heating and cooling depends on the specifics of your house and the system you are replacing.
- When replacing a gas furnace (and central A/C), you may have to replace or expand the duct system. A geothermal system provides warm air at a lower temperature than a gas-fired furnace. The geothermal-heated air is still plenty warm enough, at about 100 degrees; however, the existing duct system was designed for flame-heated air at about 140 degrees. The geothermal system therefore needs to deliver more air, which may require larger-diameter ducts.
- A similar difficulty can occur when replacing a hydronic (radiator) heating system. The difference in heating temperatures may mean the geothermal system will require additional radiators, and a copper or aluminum system may have to be replaced entirely. Since a geothermal system creates no emissions, you can get rid of the chimney and CO detector.
- A radiant (floor) heating system can be relatively simple to convert, as long as it has enough heating loops installed.
- Replacing an air-source heat pump with a geothermal heat pump is also rather simple, and should not require significant changes.
- If you have an older home that has not been updated, you will likely want to add insulation and/or upgrade the windows and doors to reduce your heating and cooling loads. By lowering the amount of work the geothermal system has to do, you can reduce the size and space requirements of the system, and eliminate the need to expand your duct or radiant system.
To find out whether your Kansas City area home would require retrofitting for a geothermal heating and cooling system, please contact us at Overland Park Heating & Cooling.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Overland Park, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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