Geothermal FAQs

  • How Long Do Geothermal Heat Pumps Last?

    Geothermal heat pumps are durable and require little maintenance. They have fewer mechanical components than standard systems, and most of those components are underground or indoors, sheltered from the weather.

    The underground piping used in the system is often guaranteed to last up to 50 years and is virtually worry-free. The components inside the house are small and easily accessible for maintenance. Warm and cool air are distributed through ductwork, just as in a standard forced-air system.

  • How much indoor Space Does A Geothermal Heat Pump Occupy?

    Most of the installation is underground and the surrounding landscape will dictate what loop system is the best fit for the available space. Inside the home, the geothermal heat pump is similar in size to a traditional heating and cooling unit.

  • Which System Is Best For Me, Open-Loop Or Closed-Loop?

    The net results in operating cost and efficiency are virtually the same. The best system for you will depend on whether you have an adequate groundwater supply and means of disposal. If you do, an open-loop can be used. If not, a closed-loop system is best. Sila Heating & Air Conditioning can help you decide which system is best for your location.

  • Will An Underground Loop Affect My Lawn And Surrounding Landscape?

    No. Research has shown that loops have no adverse effect on grass, trees, or shrubs. Most horizontal installations require trenches 5 ft. – 6 ft. deep and 3 ft. wide depending on the system size. Temporary bare areas and problematic regions of the landscape can be restored with grass seed or sod. In some instances trenching provides an opportunity to remove and repair low lying landscape, and areas with poor drainage. Vertical loops require little space and will not damage lawns significantly. In either case, expect the need for post installation landscaping.

  • Will I Need An Additional Heat Source During Extremely Cold Weather?

    All systems require emergency backup heat if they are the only heating source for the home. Geothermal Heat Pumps are able to provide all the necessary heat in the coldest weather. Any analysis by Sila Heating & Air Conditioning can dictate what portion of heat is provided by the heat pump and what portion would be by auxiliary means.

  • How Noisy Is The Heat Pump Unit?

    No different from a conventional ducted heating and cooling system

  • Are All Geothermal Heat Pumps Alike?

    No. There are different kinds designed for specific applications. Sila Heating & Air Conditioning can help you decide which heat pump is best for your home or business.

  • Can A Geothermal Heat Pump Also Provide Hot Water For My Home?

    Yes. Using what’s called a Hot Water Generator (HWG) for on demand hot water or desuperheaters to supplement the production of domestic hot water.

  • Is A Geothermal Heat Pump Difficult To Install?

    Most units are easy to install, especially when replacing a traditional forced air system. Geothermal heat pumps can be installed in areas unsuitable for fossil fuel system, because there is no combustion, thus no need to vent exhaust gases. Ductwork must be installed in homes that do not have an existing air distribution system, and the difficulty of installing ductwork will vary, and should be assessed.

  • Will I Have To Add Insulation To My Home If I Install A Geothermal Heat Pump?

    Geothermal heat pumps will reduce your heating and cooling costs regardless of how well your home is insulated, however to maximize savings, insulating and weatherization are key factors for any type of heating and cooling system.

  • Is A Geothermal Heat Pump Able To Heat My Radiant System?

    Yes, there are units made specifically for radiant floor applications similar to boiler systems.

  • What Does A System Like This Cost?

    In most circumstances the initial investment for a geothermal heat pump is greater than a conventional system, but over time the energy savings quickly offsets the initial difference in purchase price. To get an accurate comparison, you would need to consider the following:

    • Payback: How long it takes to recover the difference in installation costs between the two systems using comparative energy savings. This usually runs 3-5 years, but will depend on the scope of work.
    • Energy efficiency and ratings: Compare ratings of the existing system and new geothermal heat pump. This can be affected by how well your home is insulated.
    • Energy costs and availability: Fluctuations of fossil fuel markets can be taken into account.
    • Total operating savings from heating, cooling, and domestic hot water (which is typically lower with geothermal heat pumps.