Sizing Your Geothermal Heating And Cooling System
by Greg Leisgang on September 18, 2012
Posted in: Geothermal
Installing a geothermal heating and cooling system can work wonders in reducing your utility bills in Cincinnati -- but only if it is properly sized for your home. The process of sizing your geothermal heating and cooling system is not something that you should do yourself. It is a complicated process that is best left to a professional.
A geothermal heating and cooling system is made up of two primary parts: a heat pump and a looping field, which is a series of pipes that are located under the ground. Loops can be laid either horizontally (the more economical option) or vertically. Your contractor will first determine the correct size of heat pump that best fits your home and your climate conditions, and then calculate the size of the loop field based on the following factors:
- Home size
- Soil properties
- Land availability
If you have a large home, for instance, you will need a large geothermal heat pump, which in turn will require a larger loop field.
Certain soil types, such as clay, allow for better heat transfer than more dry and sandy soil. The better the heat transfer properties your soil has, the less piping you'll need, which means a smaller loop field -- and lower installation costs. Also, soil that is filled with a lot of hard rock might necessitate vertical ground loops -- the costlier installation option.
The size of your land will also affect your loop size and design. If you have enough land space, horizontal ground loops will work for you. Smaller plots of land will require vertical loops, as will land with extensive landscaping, a sprinkler system and/or underground utilities that would interfere with a horizontal ground loop design.
If your geothermal system is too small or too big for your home, you’ll be hit with two drawbacks: higher energy bills and less home comfort. An undersized geothermal system will have to work very hard to adequately heat and cool your home, while an oversized system will cycle on and off too often.
For more expert advice about sizing your geothermal heating and cooling system and other issues related to home comfort, please contact us at JonLe Heating & Cooling. We've been proudly serving greater Cincinnati since 1959.
Image via Shutterstock.com