Geothermal heating and cooling is gaining in popularity in Arkansas and across the United States. It’s an energy-efficient, low-impact alternative for providing comfortable heating and air conditioning. But professional installation is imperative, as is properly maintaining a geothermal system. Following are some important tips for any owner, or potential owner, of a geothermal system.
Get the Installation Right
You’ll want to contract with a professional geothermal contractor who has ample experience with these systems. While the indoor component of a geothermal system is basically a standard heat pump, the outside component doesn’t resemble any other type of HVAC system. The contractor will need to excavate a loop field — either vertical or horizontal — for the ground-source system. As with any HVAC system, the contractor must carefully size the system to accommodate your home’s heating and cooling loads.
Anti-Freeze Levels Must Be Correct
In a geothermal heat pump system, an anti-freeze solution circulates in the underground loop configuration, extracting heat energy from the earth and bringing it inside for heating or “rejecting” heat energy from the home back into the ground for cooling. If the anti-freeze level is incorrect, either because it’s leaking or was undercharged at installation, the system will struggle to heat and cool your home. During annual maintenance, a technician will check to make sure loop pressure and temperatures meet specifications.
Keep the Indoor Unit Clean
The indoor heat pump component of your geothermal system must be kept clean and maintained, just like any standard heat pump. This means ensuring a clean air filter, heat-exchange coils and air handler.
Ducts Also Should Be Clean and Airtight
Since the indoor component of a geothermal heat pump relies on ductwork to circulate the air, the ducts should be kept clean and tightly sealed. Dirty and leaky ducts can greatly reduce geothermal system efficiency.
Pipes Should Be Inspected
During the maintenance visit, the geothermal technician should check the loop network of pipes to make sure they’re not leaking or otherwise defective.
To obtain professional help maintaining a geothermal system in your Northwest Arkansas home, please contact us at Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Springdale, Arkansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about geothermal systems and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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