Q: What is a geothermal heat pump?
A: A geothermal or “ground-source” heat pump is an electrically powered device that uses the natural heat storage ability of the earth and/or the earth’s groundwater to heat and cool your home or business in a highly efficient manner.
Q: How does geothermal work?
A: Like any type of heat pump, it simply moves heat energy from one place to another. The geothermal heat pump removes heat energy stored in the earth and/or the earth’s groundwater and transfers it to the home.
Q: How is heat transferred between the earth and the home?
A: The earth has the ability to absorb and store heat energy. To use that stored energy, heat is extracted from the earth through a liquid medium (water) and is pumped to the heat pump heat exchanger. There, the heat is used to heat your home. In summer the process is reversed and indoor heat is extracted from your home and transferred to the earth through the liquid.
Q: You mentioned heating and cooling. Does it do both?
A: One of the things that make a heat pump so versatile is its ability to be a heating and cooling system in one. You can change from one mode to another with a simple flip of a switch on your indoor thermostat. Plus, a geothermal heat pump can assist in heating water year-round.
Q: Do I need separate ground loops for heating and cooling?
A: No. The same loop works for both. All that happens when changing from heating to cooling, or vice versa, is that the flow of heat is reversed inside the unit.
Q: What types of loops are available?
A: There are two main types: open and closed.
Q: Does the underground pipe system really work?
A: The buried pipe, or “ground loop,” is the biggest technical advancement in heat pump technology to date. The idea to bury pipe in the ground to gather heat energy began in the 1940s. But it’s only been in the last 25 years that new heat pump designs and improved pipe materials have been combined to make geothermal heat pumps the most efficient heating and cooling systems available.
Q: How does the price compare to a high-efficiency standard system?
A: With today’s 30% tax credit on “green” products such as geothermal systems, and rebates from most electric companies, the cost is almost equivalent to a high efficiency standard system, plus all of the benefits!
Q: Does Hollifield Service Company provide all installation services?
A: Yes, we offer the drilling through our drilling division, as well as system installation and setup. We do all ductwork and water piping to and from the ground loop heat exchanger.
Heating and Air Conditioning—FAQ
Q: How does an air conditioner work?
A: An air conditioner seems to cool your home's air, but it actually makes your home less warm by removing heat from the indoor air and transferring that heat to the outdoor air. Heat is extracted from the home by passing indoor air across a refrigerant coil in the indoor unit. Refrigerant lines then carry the heat to the outdoor unit, where it is released into the outside air. The cooling cycle continues until the indoor temperature reaches the thermostat setting.
Q: What is a heat pump?
A: A heat pump is an all-in-one heating and air conditioning system that works year-round to keep you comfortable. During warmer months, a heat pump works as a normal air conditioner. It extracts heat from inside the home and transfers it to the outdoor air. In colder weather, however, the process reverses and the unit collects heat from the outdoor air and transferring it inside your home. Even when the air outside feels extremely cold, the air still contains some heat. The heat pump pulls the heat from this cold outdoor air and sends it inside to warm your home. When there's not enough heat in the outside air to meet the demand of the thermostat setting, an electric heater supplements the outdoor air to warm the home. Extremely efficient, this process produces two to three times more heat than the energy it uses
Q: Can you service my equipment no matter what the brand?
A: Yes, we service all makes and models. Just give us a call and we will take care of everything else.
Q: Is it necessary to maintenance my system?
A: Yes, it is equal to putting oil into your car. By having your system properly maintained, the operating costs are lowered (saving you money), the system’s life is increased, and likelihood of a failure drastically decreases. Contact us for a low rate maintenance agreement by highly trained technicians.
Q: Why is my system freezing up?
A: Although the system being low on refrigerant is one cause of freezing, there are many different possibilities. A licensed HVAC technician should troubleshoot and diagnose the system to ensure the correct course of action. One thing that can be done to prevent this is to have the system professionally maintained, and change your air filters regularly.
Q: What are furnace ratings?
A: Furnaces are rated by the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) ratio, which is the percent of heat produced for every dollar of fuel consumed. Like the miles-per-gallon rating on your automobile, the higher the AFUE rating, the lower your fuel costs. All furnaces manufactured today must meet at least 78% AFUE. If your furnace is 10 to 15 years old, it very well may fall below the current furnace minimum and waste energy. This doesn't mean that you should only select a furnace based on its AFUE rating. The efficiency rating is just one factor to consider when looking for a new furnace. Furnaces use electricity to run fans and motors. The amount of electricity used varies greatly depending on the type of furnace. Be sure to check electricity usage prior to making a purchase decision.
Q: What is a ductless minisplit?
A: A ductless minisplit is an electrically powered heating/cooling device that provides a comfortable environment without making use of ductwork. They use highly refined technology to heat and cool a space quietly and efficiently.
Q: How are they different from conventional heating/cooling equipment?
A: Unlike conventional heating/cooling equipment, which starts and stops to meet a temperature setting demand, minisplits run 24/7 at the precise need of the cooling/heating demand, giving truly comfortable conditions.
Q: How does running 24/7 make them more efficient?
A: Each time a conventional system starts (which is continuous off/on), an electrical need of 5x normal is observed, which is inefficient and expensive for the owner. Minisplits only start once and are then slowed/sped up to meet the need lowering startup usage significantly. This also keeps constant conditions, which is more efficient than “leveling out” each time the unit starts.
Q: Are they like window units?
A: They are hardly equivalent to window units. They are up to 60% more efficient than window units, and more efficient than traditional HVAC systems. They are quiet, comfortable, and highly efficient. They are placed high on the wall and are hardly noticed; and with their sleek design, look really nice.
Q: Can they be ducted if needed?
A: There are ducted Minisplits available as well.