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Geothermal Myths: Sort Out Fact From Fiction


If you’re considering geothermal heating and cooling for your Fairfax area home, it’s important to do your homework. Unfortunately, a lot of geothermal myths are floating around that paint this technology in a less than favorable light. Read on for help sorting the truth from fiction.

  • Myth:  A large yard is required for geothermal installation.

Fact: If it’s possible to tap into a nearby aquifer, minimal square footage is required. Another option is vertical installation of the ground loop, where very little above ground real estate is needed, though this may be influenced by the physical properties of the site.

  • Myth: A geothermal HVAC system heat pump produces a lot of noise.

Fact: These systems run quietly, with no outside components that could disturb you or your neighbors.

  • Myth: This type of system uses a lot of water.

Fact: Today’s geothermal heat pumps consume no water at all, though if connected to an aquifer, water from that source will be used in the heat-exchange process, before being returned.

  • Myth: Geothermal HVAC systems have a short lifespan, and wear out quickly.

Fact: The in-ground earth loops can outlast several generations, and the indoor components may last for decades. In the event the inside unit does require replacement, the cost will be far below that of the original installation, as the earth loop is the priciest part of the installation.

  • Myth: A geothermal system can only be used to heat your home.

Fact: This type of heat pump is just as effective at cooling your home.

  • Myth: A geothermal heat pump can’t handle providing heat to more than one use at a time.

Fact: They are designed to be able to heat multiple loads at the same time, such as your home, a pool and water.

Fact: For every five units of cooling or heating, only one unit of electricity is consumed. So while a small amount of electrical power is used, it’s saving you from using much more with another type of system.

For additional questions surrounding geothermal myths, call the experts at HVAC & Plumbing Unlimited Heating & Air Conditioning, proudly serving homeowners in Alexandria, Fairfax, Springfield and the surrounding areas.

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