Is Geothermal Heating an Option for Your Building?
Here in New Jersey, we’re no strangers to cold winters and high heating bills, but business owners across the state are saving money by choosing geothermal for their heating and cooling needs. Even though these systems cost a bit more upfront, their operating costs are substantially lower and geothermal systems are widely considered the most energy efficient HVAC systems currently available.
Similar to Conventional HVAC
Commercial HVAC options typically include heat pumps, air conditioners and furnaces. Heat pumps and air conditioners both mechanically transfer heat, but heat pumps have the added benefit of being able to transfer heat both into your business and outside depending on whether you need to cool or heat your property.
Geothermal systems function most like a heat pump with one important difference: instead of mechanically transferring heat to or from the outside air, geothermal systems utilize the constant, uniform temperature found just beneath the ground’s surface. Liquids and solids tend to conduct heat more efficiently than air. When it’s below freezing outside, heat pumps have to work incredibly hard to provide any heat at all to your business, but a geothermal system works just as well in any outdoor temperature.
Because geothermal systems are largely buried underground, they don’t require a significant outdoor footprint, but they sometimes require more space than is available in an urban setting. They also cost more upfront than conventional HVAC systems, but these costs are a fraction of what you’ll save in energy bills. Despite the fact that federal subsidies covering geothermal systems recently expired, operational cost savings are so substantial that business owners continue to express interest in this technology. In short, these systems are perfect for a majority of business owners.
A Long-Term Investment
Another important factor to consider is the system’s lifespan. According to the US Department of Energy, geothermal systems typically last approximately 20 to 25 years, which is about twice as long as a heat pump or air conditioner. That means less downtime, fewer distractions and more productivity for your company.
Maintenance costs also tend to be substantially lower than with a conventional HVAC system. Little to none of the equipment is exposed to the elements, so the equipment doesn’t have to contend with freezing or triple-digit temperatures.
In extremely cold temperatures — single digits or below zero — it might be necessary to supplement the geothermal system with an auxiliary furnace, which will use electricity or another fuel source to keep your property a comfortable temperature. However, you’ll almost never need the auxiliary heater.
If you’re ready to invest in both your company’s continued success and strengthen your green credentials, consider getting a free quote from one of our Star-certified HVAC commercial contractors. Our contractors will develop a comprehensive plan, schedule, and budget for your review to minimize any disruption into your day-to-day operations, and you’ll be well on your way to cutting utility costs in no time!