Does Your Building Need a Geo-Exchange System Installation in Fort Collins, CO?
RPM Mechanical is an accredited IGSHPA member and is involved in the newest technologies coming out of the geo industry, providing our customers with the knowledge base to recommend the best equipment for any given project. Any heating system we install is properly sized to account for efficiency, longevity and comfort.
The Earth is a huge energy-storage device. It absorbs 47 percent of the sun’s energy – more than 500 times the amount mankind needs every year. The sun’s heat acts as an enormous battery. Geo-exchange taps this battery. Geo-exchange extracts heat from the ground during the heating season and rejects it during the cooling season by putting it back into the ground.
In Colorado, the Earth’s temperature is approximately 55 degrees. There are two ways to distribute this heat from the ground to buildings – in-floor radiant or forced-air.
When applied to in-floor radiant heating systems geo-exchange units can reach very high levels of efficiency. The lower temperatures for in-floor heating the higher the efficiencies we can reach from the units. Conductive floor coverings like tile, stone or stained concrete are best when applied to these types of systems. The cooling needs of the home can be accounted for by forced air or in-floor radiant cooling systems. This new technology provides the majority of cooling by running cool water through the in-floor system. While it has limitations, this technology can be a very good option for buildings with a small cooling load.
One very important consideration when installing a geo-exchange system – knowing how much energy is needed to extract heat from the ground or expel it into the ground to achieve high levels of efficiency and comfort.
Domestic Hot Water & Geo-Exchange
In addition to the high efficiencies of geo-exchange systems, there is the option to add a desuperheater. A desuperheater is an additional component installed in the geo-exchange unit to extract some of the heat for preheating a home’s domestic hot water. Desuperheaters are a great addition to any geo-exchange system. They work especially well in applications where there is a heating and cooling load. In a typical home, desuperheaters can account for over 50 percent of the home’s domestic hot water.
During the cooling season, the heat that is extracted is essentially free. The geo-exchange unit is removing heat and expelling it into the ground. During the heating season, the geo-exchange unit continues to produce hot water much more efficiently then conventional water heaters. Current tax credits require the installation of a desuperheater for eligibility.
The main difference between geo-exchange systems and conventional systems is the ground loop. Ground loops can be installed in long horizontal trenches, Slinky-like trenches, or pond loops, or they can be drilled vertically into the ground. Depending on the situation, some installations are easier or more cost effective than others. RPM typically installs horizontal trench geo-exchange systems or vertical systems. Regardless of how the ground loop is installed, each ground loop is sized for the individual project.
If you have any questions regarding our geo-exchange system services, or if you would like to schedule a service, please contact us at 970-566-7792 today.