The facts about GeoExchange systems

Natural Resources Canada ( NRCan) and the US Environmental Protection Agency state that geoexchange is the most energy-efficient, environmentally clean, and cost-effective space conditioning system available on the market today.

  • high-efficiency geoexchange systems are on average 48 percent more efficient than the most efficient gas furnaces and more than 75 percent more efficient than oil furnaces.
  • geoexchange systems outperform the most efficient gas technology, gas heat pumps, by an average of 36 percent in the heating mode and 43 percent in the cooling mode. Energy costs with geoexchange typically are 25 to 50 percent less than other HVAC systems.
  • Geoexchange lowers electricity demand by nearly 1 kW per ton of capacity.
  • Geoexchange systems generate virtually no carbon dioxide emissions because they burn no fossil fuels on site.
  • Geoexchange systems have a lower life-cycle cost than conventional systems, even in sub-arctic and arctic regions where the demand for heating is high. Geoexchange systems also have long equipment life (systems are often warranteed for 25 years and the ground pipe often will last over 50 years).
  • Geoexchange systems are optimal for commercial buildings as they provide the architect with optimal design flexibility because the roof and landscape are free of chillers, air handlers and other outdoor equipment. In addition, with geoexchange systems, boiler rooms can be eliminated and the size of mechanical rooms can be reduced.
  • The systems are so flexible, they are ideal for renovating buildings with historical merit. One successful strategy is to use smaller heat pumps dispersed in closets, basements, and attics to provide space conditioning and ventilation with minimal ducting. Additionally, there are no unsightly condensers on the roof or grounds to distract from the building's historic charm.
  • The elimination of outdoor or rooftop equipment means that the geoexchange system is not exposed to temperature extremes, dirt, pollution or vandalism.
  • If every school district in North America that needed to replace a heating and cooling system in the next 10 years decided to install geoexchange systems, the total energy savings over that time frame would exceed $11 billion.
  • The electricity required to power one million homes for one year would be saved if every North American school that could use geoexchange did so.
  • In 2005, more than 650,000 geothermal heat pump units were installed in the U.S. , resulting in annual savings of 5.2 billion kWh, 26 trillion Btus of fossil fuels, reduced electricity demand by 1.7 million kW and the elimination of nearly 4 million tonnes of CO2.
  • 650,000 installations are equivalent to taking 840,000 cars off the road, planting 250 million trees, or reducing reliance on imported fuels by 14 million barrels of crude oil per year.
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