Photo by Rachel Sarai
Whether you are building a new Seattle home or renovating your existing home, you may be making a concerted effort to “go green.” An excellent way to “go green” lies in your HVAC heating: install a geothermal heat pump instead of a traditional HVAC system. A geothermal heat pump is a ground source system that actually brings the heat from the ground because the ground generally stays at a consistent temperature year round.
The system transfers the heat or cooling through a chemical similar to antifreeze, but more environmentally friendly. It’s an all-electric system since the temperature beneath the ground is almost always at a consistent temperature and doesn’t need to be heated or cooled. It uses the free renewable energy found in your own backyard to provide clean, green, quiet, comfortable and reliable heating and cooling, all without burning any fossil fuels. The geothermal heat pump is probably one of the most efficient systems, environmentally friendly and safe!
The geothermal heat pump is $8,000 to $15,000 more expensive than a conventional Seattle HVAC system, but the efficiency of the system makes it cheaper in the end. A geothermal heat pump can actually save you up to 70% on your heating and cooling bills each month. Geothermal heat pumps are more commonly installed in new home constructions than existing homes, but existing homes can benefit from the efficiency as well. There are also tax credits available for the cost of the system.
For new homes or remodeling, you can have your house certified green according to the National Association of Home Builders’ National Green Building Program. The certification recognizes three levels of “greenness”—Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Homes are evaluated for the designation according to how the project addresses key green construction areas including Lot & Site Development, Resource Efficiency, Energy Efficiency, Water Efficiency, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Homeowner Education.
Another tip to help you save even more on your heating and cooling costs. While you are having your new geothermal heat pump system installed, make sure to clean your ducts! Dust buildup in your ductwork will prevent your HVAC system from performing as well as it could, so cleaning those ducts once or twice a year will help even more for your pocketbook and the environment.
Most HVAC services in Seattle can install a geothermal heat pump, you just have to ask them about the costs and benefits. As you’ve read above, a geothermal heat pump can save you thousands of dollars each year, and you’ll also have the benefit of knowing that your heating and cooling is being done in a way that does not use fossil fuels, so it’s as ecologically sound as it is economically sound!
So, if you want to “go green” and save money, have a geothermal heat pump installed instead of that old-fashioned furnace and air conditioner, and have your ducts cleaned! You’ll enjoy a much more efficient HVAC system, and will sleep well at night knowing that you are doing your part to help save our environment.