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Discover the value of Geothermal

Throughout Fry Heating & Cooling’s historic 90+ year legacy, the company has provided thousands of homeowners with the finest comfort systems available. Offering a wide variety of state-of-the-art furnaces, air conditioners and heat pumps, Fry Heating & Cooling are experts when it comes to customized home comfort systems. But it doesn’t end there. Fry Heating & Cooling also offers a complete line of exceptional geothermal comfort systems for your home.  Fry Heating & Cooling exclusively uses Carrier and Climate Master Brands for all Geothermal systems. 

Geothermal systems provide several good options for efficient indoor heating and cooling by tapping into the earth to capture its renewable energy.

Here’s how it works: The earth absorbs energy from the sun and stores it in the ground. A geothermal system extracts that energy for home heating during the winter. For cooling, the system removes heat from the home and places it into the cooler earth. This transfer of heat energy is done through a series of pipes either buried in the ground, sunk in a pond, or by using well water.

Why Choose Geothermal?

Geothermal systems provide homeowners with a wide range of benefits.

Savings: Geothermal systems can offer lower operating costs compared to ordinary forced air heating and cooling systems. Those savings can be as high as 70% in annual heating and cooling costs.

Comfort: These systems can provide even temperatures throughout the home year round, with excellent dehumidification during cooling.

Reduce Environmental Impact: Geothermal is a renewable technology that can reduce your carbon footprint now and for future generations. In fact, a single geothermal heat pump can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 11 metric tons over its 20-year lifespan, the equivalent of taking two cars off the road.

Reliability: Geothermal units are known for durability and can operate for years with little maintenance. In addition, ordinary heat pumps and air conditioners are located outdoors and are subject to wear and tear caused by extreme temperatures, rain, snow, hail, and pollution which can potentially reduce their life expectancy. Because geothermal units are located indoors, they can last 20+ years.

Quiet Operation: Unlike ordinary air conditioners and heat pumps, no outdoor unit is required. Geothermal units use heavy-duty, fully-insulated cabinets for quiet operation. Quiet, soft starting variable-speed blowers are used in many models.

Flexibility: Geothermal comfort systems can provide heating, cooling and supplemental water heating from a single unit with a wide variety of models and options to fit most applications.

Hot Water: Excess heat from system operation can be used to supplement the home’s water heater.

Reduce Energy Independence: Geothermal systems can reduce our need to import fuel.

The Energy Efficiency Story

One of the main reasons many homeowners choose geothermal is the benefit of lower operating costs. The cost for heating, cooling and hot water can combine for up to 75% of a home’s total utility costs. Therefore, the biggest opportunity to save in utility costs is to improve those systems. That’s where geothermal can help in a big way.

For every one unit of energy purchased, a geothermal system can deliver up to four units of energy because it uses energy from the earth. In many scenarios, a geothermal system is significantly less expensive to operate than ordinary forced air heating and cooling systems. Geothermal systems can save up to 70% in annual heating and cooling costs and can save energy on domestic hot water costs.

One way to compare heating efficiency is to calculate the cost for 1 million BTUs of heat transfer. Using a standard formula, an “apples to apples” comparison can be made based on local fuel rates and equipment efficiency. The table at right demonstrates a typical savings opportunity with geothermal. To get the full picture for your home, contact Fry Heating & Cooling.

 

 

Geothermal Fry Heating & Cooling

Renewable Energy From the Earth

Geothermal systems can be installed with a variety of loop system configurations. “Closed loops” use recirculated fluid in a series of pipes installed vertically, horizontally, or in a pond. “Open loops” use well water.  Fry Heating & Cooling will determine which design works best for your home.

Geothermal systems use renewable energy from the earth, so the technology is one that can reduce your carbon footprint.

On a grander scale, imagine the impact of the reduced emissions resulting from every current geothermal comfort system installation today. The collective result would be a dramatic reduction in carbon footprint.

 

Comparison of Geothermal Loop Types
with a Focus on Thermal Transfer Efficiency
and Multi-Use Functionality

 

Horizontal Loops:

  1. Thermal Efficiency: Lower due to shallow depth; soil has less thermal conductivity near the surface.
  2. Multi-use: Not applicable; dedicated solely to the HVAC system.
  3. Fluid Type: Typically a water-glycol mix, reducing thermal transfer efficiency compared to pure water.

Vertical Loops:

  1. Thermal Efficiency: Higher, as the loop extends deeper into the ground with better thermal conductivity.
  2. Multi-use: Not applicable; dedicated solely to the HVAC system.
  3. Fluid Type: Typically a water-glycol mix, reducing thermal transfer efficiency compared to pure water.

Open Loop with Deep Well:

  1. Thermal Efficiency: Very high; natural water possesses excellent thermal transfer properties. No glycol mix dilutes the heat transfer capacity.
  2. Multi-use: Highly versatile; water from the well can be used for sprinkler systems, irrigation, or other property needs.
  3. Fluid Type: Pure water, optimizing thermal transfer.

Efficiency Idea:

Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs): For the pumps, which adjust speed based on real-time requirements, thereby saving energy.

Side-by-Side Analysis:

Criteria

Horizontal Loops

Vertical Loops

Open Loop with Deep Well

Thermal Transfer Efficiency

Moderate

High

Very High

Multi-use Functionality

None

None

High

Fluid Type

Water-Glycol Mix

Water-Glycol Mix

Pure Water

Key Takeaways:

  1. Efficiency: An open loop with a deep well is the most efficient option due to the use of pure water and the greater thermal stability at depths.
  2. Versatility: Open loop systems can serve multiple purposes, making them highly cost-effective if you also require water for other applications like sprinklers.
  3. System Complexity: Depending on Water, open loop systems may require more complex maintenance due to the use of natural water and potential for mineral deposits.
Geothermal Fry Heating & Cooling

Horizontal Loops:

Used on larger lots. Installed using a backhoe or trencher.

Geothermal Fry Heating & Cooling

Vertical Loops:

Used where land area is limited or soil conditions prohibit horizontal loops. Installed using a drilling rig.

Geothermal Fry Heating & Cooling

Pond Loops:

Coils of pipe are fabricated and sunk to the bottom of the pond.

Geothermal Fry Heating & Cooling

Open Loop:

Well water from an existing well can be used, then discharged into a drainage ditch or pond.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How efficient are geothermal heat pump systems?

A: Actual efficiencies will depend on a number of factors but, generally speaking, a geothermal heat pump can be between two to five times more efficient at producing heat than a gas, propane or oil furnace (based on the amount of energy consumed to produce a given amount of heat). For cooling, a geothermal system (30.0 EER) can be up to three times more efficient than an air source air conditioner (10.0 EER).

Q: Why are geothermal heat pumps so efficient?

A: Geothermal heat pumps use the ground temperature as a “source” for heat energy to help warm your home, and use the ground as a heat “sink” during cooling. The earth acts as a giant energy battery, providing an endless, renewable source for heating and cooling comfort. Standard heat pumps use outdoor air for heating and cooling. Because the ground temperature is much more moderate and stable than air temperatures, geothermal system operation is much more energy efficient, especially at extreme outdoor temperatures.

Q: Are these systems reliable?

A: Yes. Geothermal units are not subject to some of the same forces that cause wear and tear on other types of systems. And, earth loops are installed using a special grade of polyethylene pipe with heat-fused fittings designed for durability and long life.

Q: What kind of underground loop system is best?

A: It depends on several factors. Homes on larger lots usually have horizontal loops installed. Smaller lots may require a vertical loop. A nearby pond can also be used. If you have a well water system, that may be an option. Fry Heating & Cooling is trained to determine which loop design is most appropriate for your home. Regardless of the loop system selected, the operating costs are all about the same.

Q: How much space is needed for a closed loop system?

A: The smallest closed loop design, the vertical loop, may require a space of only 15×15 feet, or a line of 3×45 feet, located at least 10 feet away from the home, and 10 feet from property lines. Horizontal loops require considerably more space.

Q: How is the unit size and loop design determined?

A: Fry Heating & Cooling uses geothermal system design software to determine the most appropriately sized unit and loop for your home. The software takes many factors into consideration including: the heating and cooling requirements of the home, loop type, depth, soil conditions, earth temperatures, outdoor air temperature extremes, local fuel rates and much more. In addition, the software can demonstrate energy costs for a geothermal system versus another type of heating and cooling system.

Q: Will the fluid in the loops freeze during a long, cold winter?

A: No. Antifreeze in the loop fluid eliminates any concerns about freezing.

Q: Can a well be used instead of an earth loop?

A: Yes. Prior to using a well for a geothermal installation, the water quality must be checked. Sufficient water volume is needed for the unit, usually about four to nine gallons per minute during unit operation. A discharge location like a pond or drainage ditch is also required.

Q: How big does a pond have to be for use with a geothermal system?

A: For most installations, the pond should have a surface area of at least a half acre and a minimum depth of 10 feet. Bigger is better.

Q: What is the actual efficiency of a geothermal system?

A: The energy efficiency of a geothermal system is rated by an industry standard known as ARI/ISO 13256-1, which specifies a set of conditions by which efficiency is determined. The rating for heating is Coefficient of Performance (COP). It’s a ratio of the amount of energy used to operate the unit compared to the amount of energy output. The highest efficiency geothermal units have a COP in excess of 4.5 (that’s 450% efficient), compared to a high-efficiency air source heat pump with an average seasonal COP around 1.8. 

The rating for cooling is called Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER). It’s calculated by dividing BTUs per hour output into the watts used. Carrier’s highest efficiency geothermal units have EERs around 20.0-30.0. That’s about two to three times better than many air conditioners and heat pumps. But because geothermal units are not rated according to the same industry standard as furnaces, air conditioners, and heat pumps, it is difficult to compare, for example, an AFUE and HSPF to COP, or SEER to EER. To get the full energy efficiency story, compare the dollars. 

Q: Is comfort compromised to get all this efficiency?

A: No. In fact, geothermal systems can provide exceptional comfort without the “cold blow” from some standard air source heat pumps during heating; or short, hot blasts of air associated with some standard efficiency gas furnaces. Geothermal units deliver air at temperatures that provide comfort throughout the house. The dual capacity units with variable-speed fans precisely match the needs of the home to deliver comfort no matter what the outdoor air temperature is.

Q: Can the existing duct work and electrical service be used?

A: Generally, the existing duct work can be used with a geothermal unit without extensive modification. Variable-speed blowers used in many of the geothermal units can compensate for a less-than-optimum duct system. For the electrical supply, a 200-amp service for the home is recommended.

Q: What about radiant floor heating?

A: A geothermal system can be designed to provide warm water for radiant floor applications. A water-to-water geothermal units are much more efficient than today’s best boilers.

Q: Can a geothermal unit be combined with a gas or propane furnace?

A: Yes. Some homeowners like the benefits of both technologies. In this case, a geothermal “split” unit (compressor only) is connected to a furnace and cooling coil. The geothermal unit will perform all the cooling and some of the heating. During the coldest days, the system can switch over to furnace operation to provide the warmest air temperatures and maximum capacity. The most cost effective “balance point” can be pre-determined by the dealer to maximize efficiency and comfort. This HYBRID HEAT® system may be a good choice for a replacement installation or a new home.

Q: Are geothermal systems more expensive to install, and how long does it take for the extra expense to pay for itself?

A: Geothermal systems are generally more expensive to install than ordinary systems. For replacement installations, the added cost can be recovered faster than you think due to the high energy efficiency of geothermal. In a new home where the added cost of the system can be included in the mortgage, the monthly energy savings may be greater than the added cost, providing the homeowner with a positive cash flow from day one.  Many homeowners find that a geothermal system is a great investment.

Geothermal Heat Pumps

All of the featured high efficient Carrier furnaces are Energy Star Rated and qualify for a 30% Tax Credit.

Best & Most Efficient

Infinity® Geothermal Heat Pump GC

Infinity® Geothermal Heat Pump

GC

The Infinity® series GC model combines our highest efficiency closed- or open-loop systems with the smart, powerful and intuitive Infinity Touch control. These impressive forced-air or water-to-air systems offer the quiet, comfortable benefits of two-stage and variable speed operation; the versatile programming, energy tracking and wireless capabilities of Infinity Touch; and the superior energy savings of geothermal.

ENERGY STAR® certified. Up to 37 EER for premium cooling energy savings and up to 5.2 COP premium heating energy savings.

Offers excellent humidity control. Can operate at lower speeds for longer times extracting more humidity from your indoor air.

Best & Flexible

INFINITY® SPLIT SYSTEM GEOTHERMAL HEAT PUMP GZ

Infinity® Split System Geothermal Heat Pump

GZ

If you prefer higher heating temperatures from your registers in winter or just want to continue using an existing furnace, this indoor unit may be what you need. The INFINITY® GZ geothermal split system heat pump combines superior performance with the smart, powerful and intuitive Infinity Touch control. This system utilizes your new or existing furnace or fan coil’s blower motor to move air and offers the efficiency and comfort benefits of a two-stage compressor, all tied together with the versatile programming, energy tracking and available wireless/remote operation of Infinity System Control.

ENERGY STAR® certified. Up to 26.4 EER for premium cooling energy savings and up to 4.8 COP premium heating energy savings.

Install with furnace or fan coil with a variable-speed blower motor for excellent humidity control. This combination can operate at lower speeds for longer times extracting more humidity from your indoor air.

Incentives, Rebates and Tax Credits

Because geothermal systems can be part of the solution for national energy policy, and for efficiency programs of various utilities, many incentives are available throughout the U.S.  Qualified homeowners may be eligible for a tax credit of 30% on the installed system cost (with no maximum). Check with Fry Heating & Cooling to learn more.

About Fry Heating & Cooling: A fully licensed and certified contractor in the Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing industry, ardently adheres to a Christ-centric organizational philosophy. Our faith-based foundation guides us in every aspect of our operations, driving us to serve our regional market with dedication, compassion, and integrity. We are steadfast in our commitment to providing Fast, Friendly, and Fair services to all our clients, ensuring prompt responsiveness, exceptional customer engagement, and equitable pricing. Our standards of professionalism and goodwill reflect our aspiration to honor our faith in our daily conduct, while exceeding the expectations of our customers.

At Fry Heating & Cooling, our team of certified technicians specializes in a comprehensive range of HVAC, plumbing, and commercial RTU services, including installation, repair, and maintenance of air conditioning systems, furnaces, heat pumps, indoor air quality products, plumbing systems, commercial rooftop units and generators. With a legacy of excellence and a commitment to customer satisfaction, we are your one-stop solution for all your indoor comfort needs.

Fry Heating & Cooling is proud to service the top 10 residential HVAC OEMs delivering unparalleled customer satisfaction and industry-leading expertise. As a premier HVAC contractor, we specialize in servicing and installing top-rated brands such as CarrierTrane, Lennox, Goodman, RheemYork, Daikin, American Standard, Bryant, and Amana. 

REBATES FOR HEAT PUMPS: ENERGY UPGRADES

Geothermal and Air Source Heat Pump: 2 Great Choices

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