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HVAC Systems


Whether building a new home or replacing the existing HVAC system(s) in your current home, we highly recommend that you install, wherever feasible, a geothemal HVAC system. With Federal, State, and local government tax incentives available to most everyone, a single zone geothermal HVAC system can actually be cheaper to install than any other conventional HVAC systems, especially as a replacement system in existing homes.

Geothermal technology for HVAC systems has been around for quite some time. How it works is very simple. No matter where you live, the ground, once you get below five feet, is a constant 52 to 57 degrees farenheit. A geothermal system utilizes that constant temperature of the earth to raise (for heating) and cool (for cooling) your home's environment much more efficently than any other available system. Contrary to popular belief, the wells that are drilled for geothermal HVAC sytems are what is referred to as a "closed loop" system. The well pipes are fully enclosed and filled with a water/anitfreeze mixture. They do not use a constant flow of "new water" in the HVAC process. The well pipes are actually encased in a special grout (bentonite) and simply use the ambient temperature of the ground to dissipate heat and cold.

Unlike all other HVAC systems, geothermal systems approach an efficiency of 400%. In simple terms, that means they only use one unit of energy to produce four units of heating or cooling. Even the best electric HVAC systems currently on the market can only produce 98% efficiency. In fact, the cooling capacity (rated as SEER by industry standards) approaches 30.0 for geothermal units. The best electric unit is nearer 16.0. For heating, a geothermal system efficiency (rated as COP by industry standards) is 5.1, as opposed to 2.5 for other systems.

A Note of Caution

Unfortunately, geothermal HVAC has become somewhat of a "buzz word" in the building and remodeling industries. When considering a geothermal HVAC system, make sure you buy "only the best". There are geothermal system on the market with SEER and COP ratings that are not much better than conventional units. For that reason, we only recommend Water Furnace's Envision Series systems. They are, by far, the industry leader in geothermal HVAC systems.

One More Important Note

A geothermal HVAC system is a type of heat pump. Think of it as a "water based" heat pump as opposed to an electric air-to-air based heat pump. As such, it is usually installed with an electric backup, in case the geothermal system fails for some reason (very rarely). If you are replacing an old system with geothermal in an existing home, it is often possible to use your existing HVAC unit as the "backup" to your new geothermal system. This configuration, if feasible, can save you a substantial amount of money on your new system. Remember, a new geothermal HVAC system that is properly sized, installed, and maintained, should rarely, if ever, see the backup system kick on.


If a geothermal HVAC system is either not feasible for your location, or not within your budget, we recommend a high efficiency electric air-to-air heat pump system, except in the coldest of climates. As mentioned above, the SEER rating should be 15 (or higher), and the COP rating should be at least 2.5. There are many brands and models to choose from. A licensed and experienced HVAC contractor should be able to help you with your options.

Natural Gas, Oil, and Propane

These systems can be very "energy price volitle", especially the oil burner systems. If you must choose one of these options, again, choose the highest COP rating possible. Our recommendation would be to go with natural gas first, then propane (less efficient than natural gas), and finally oil (the most price volitle).

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