5 Benefits of Geothermal HVAC Systems in Charleston, SC

Taking advantage of the virtually unchanging temperatures that prevail underground, geothermal HVAC systems provide a powerful way to heat and cool your home. However, since they’re not nearly as common as traditional HVAC systems, homeowners in Charleston, SC may not know the benefits that geothermal systems offer.

1. Excellent Energy Efficiency

For many, the biggest stumbling block to using a geothermal HVAC system is the high cost of initial installation. Despite this significant upfront cost, geothermal systems offer such high energy efficiency rates that they can save homeowners money in the long run. Indeed, geothermal heat pumps can save those who use them as much as 70% on heating and cooling costs.

Geothermal systems can achieve these extraordinary efficiency levels and saving rates because they connect directly to the temperatures that exist underground, which are warmer on cold days and colder on hot days than the surrounding air outside. A network of underground pipes filled with water and coolant absorbs the heat from the air underground.

When it’s cold outside, this air from underground travels to a heat pump, heats up some more and then moves through your ducts to warm your home. When it’s hot outside, the water and coolant in the pipes are colder than the air in your home, thus allowing that water/coolant to absorb heat and deposit it underground. But because underground temperatures are stable year-round, your geothermal unit does less overall work, regardless of whether it’s in heating or cooling mode.

2. You Will Receive a Tax Credit

Because geothermal systems are expensive to install and governments want to incentivize their use, many areas offer income tax credits to those who choose to install them. In South Carolina, that income tax credit currently stands at 30% of the cost of installation.

3. They Last Longer

A standard HVAC system has a typical service life of anywhere between 15 and 20 years. By contrast, the equivalent figure for geothermal heat pumps is about 25 years. However, the underground looping system of pipes that the geothermal pump uses can last for 50 years.

Just as with traditional systems, regular maintenance and timely repairs can extend these figures somewhat. Nevertheless, such a significant difference in respective averages is striking.

4. They Are Safer

Traditional HVAC systems use some toxic and potentially dangerous substances, like refrigerant and natural gas, to do their heating and cooling work. By contrast, geothermal systems do not use any fossil fuels, and all coolant remains locked in an underground plumbing network. Hence, there is no danger of accidental combustion or refrigerant leaking into your home.

This has the further benefit of saving you money on repair and maintenance costs. Refrigerant and gas leaks are among the most frequent problems demanding the services of HVAC technicians. Geothermal systems, while still in need of occasional repair and maintenance, are not vulnerable to problems of that type.

5. Better Indoor Air Quality

Geothermal HVAC systems can improve indoor air quality in two subtle and often underappreciated ways. First, because geothermal systems do not need to burn anything to generate heat, they won’t place you at any risk whatsoever of a carbon monoxide leak, contrasting sharply with a more traditional furnace.

These and other important advantages should persuade you not to immediately balk at the possibility of installing a geothermal HVAC system in your home. If you live around the area of Charleston, SC and think that such a system may be right for you, call M & B Heating and Air and ask for our special geothermal services.

Image provided by iStock

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