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Guest Blogger: Eco-Friendly Cooling – A Geo-Exchange System

Entry #2480, May 31, 2013

Are you interested in cooling and heating your home in an eco-friendly way? Most people have never heard of a geo-exchange, and even those who have may not fully understand how the system works. There are pipes under your house, right? And they bring the air up into your home? That’s the basic gist of it, but the inception is a bit more complex. What you really need to know is that this alternative form of heating and cooling your home is an eco-friendly option that allows you to cut your electrical use significantly. And although it is expensive to install (especially after your house has already been built), it can save you a ton of money over time, all while helping to make the planet a little cleaner. Here are just a few reasons you might want to consider installing such a system in your home.

living room ideas green color

What eco-friendly ways can you cool and heat your home?

Image via: Travis Neely

Save energy.

The main reason most people opt for a geo-exchange over a standard HVAC system is simple: it cuts energy consumption by a significant margin. In fact, people generally notice that they require only about a third of the energy to run a geo-exchange that they needed for their old heating and cooling system. The reason is because the system rarely needs to heat or cool. The ground under your home tends to remain at a fairly steady temperature thanks to heated ground water, so the majority of electricity used by the system is simply to pump that air into your home. This way you only have to heat or cool your interior air slightly in order to achieve the desired temperature. And the incentive, of course, is that less energy is being drawn from the grid, reducing the pollution and waste that go hand-in-hand with power production.

Lower utility bills.

As a nice bonus to decreasing your energy consumption, you’ll notice that your electric and gas bills drop, as well (depending on the type of heating and cooling systems you had prior to switching). When you only need about a third of the energy you were using before to heat and cool your home, your monthly utility bills will reflect the change.

Stop CFCs.

Chlorofluorocarbons are created by the products used as refrigerant in most AC units, and they are responsible for creating holes in our ozone layer. Luckily, the government has limited the use of these harmful products, but if you want to cut back even further, a geo-exchange gives you the opportunity to drastically reduce your contributions to depleting the ozone.

living room view wood ideas

Try a geo- exchanger for your home

Image via:  Lazar Design+Build

Regulate temperature more easily.

Ground temperatures vary from place to place, but they tend to fall somewhere in the range of about 45-75 degrees Fahrenheit. What does this mean for the temperature in your home? The geo-exchange pumps this air into your home to set the base temperature. Suppose, for example, that it’s below zero outside and you’d like your home to be a balmy 70 degrees. When you’re heating your home from a base temperature of 50 rather than 0, you can see how it would take a lot less time and energy to do so, and how it would be easier to maintain. In addition, you won’t suffer the same spikes and drops as with a regular HVAC system, leaving you hot and cold in turn.

Reduce particulates.

No matter how often you replace filters in your furnace and AC unit, you’re still blowing air through ductwork that gathers dust, spewing all kinds of potential allergens into your interior space. By using a geo-exchange you can limit your use of standard heating and cooling methods. If this reduces allergy symptoms for you and your family, it may be worth it.

For more eco-friendly ideas on Stagetecture, click here.

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Stagetecture combines my passions - architecture, home staging, organization, food recipes, decor, and everything home! Poke around, stay awhile, there's something here for you!

-Ronique Gibson, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP

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