It’s true: historically, geothermal energy had a bad reputation. For years people thought it was more expensive than conventional HVAC, it took up too much space, and it was impossible to properly design. That is no longer the complete picture.
The reality is that when it comes to geothermal and hybrid geothermal systems the initial installation tends to be more expensive than a conventional HVAC system. However, this added expense is justified by the energy savings within 2-10 years. After this initial payback period, the energy savings are like a monthly reduction in your expense column and the system ends up being a smarter investment than a traditional HVAC system.
As an example, a hospital in Maryland, could save 58% in energy costs annually using a hybrid geothermal system instead of a conventional system. A school in Texas could save 59% in energy costs annually using a hybrid geothermal system instead of a conventional system.
If space is a concern, a hybrid geothermal system might make more sense. Hybrid systems require smaller borefields and use auxiliary equipment to offset the peak loads. Generally, hybrid systems require much less space than the historical full size geothermal borefields, have higher energy savings and still greatly reduce CO2 emissions – all of which help benefit your bottom line.
As far as geothermal systems being difficult to properly design, critics were correct. Fortunately, times have changed, and technology has simplified the process for accurate designs. Predictive controls software has also given these borefield systems the ability to evolve with ever changing loads and environments.
Geothermal has a new reputation. In today’s world, the expense of a geothermal system is paid back in reduced energy costs in less than 10 years, it emits far less CO2 than a traditional system, it reduces energy costs by up to 60% for the life of the building, it is easier than ever to design, and smart technology allows systems to evolve with the ever changing needs of the modern world.
Geothermal systems have evolved from the past to be the systems of the future.