An Easy Guide to Geothermal Heating and Cooling

What Does the Term Geothermal Mean?

Because of the ongoing debate about climate change and energy policy, most people are more aware than ever of the options for energy that aren't fossil fuel-based. One of the things that often gets overlooked, however, are the options that are available for small-scale installations for homes. Geothermal is commonly advertised as a renewable energy source for grid-scale installations, but it also has massive benefits for reducing energy usage for homes. 

Geothermal means "earth's heat." The earth's core is made of molten rock that generates heat miles below the surface that one can use for grid-scale energy generation. For smaller systems, like geothermal heating and cooling systems, geothermal simply means tapping into the stable temperatures underneath the ground, between 8 and 500 feet deep, as a source of energy or a heat sink. 

How Do Geothermal Heating and Cooling Systems Work?

A geothermal heating and cooling system are similar to a heat pump, except it uses physics to accomplish the same thing more efficiently. In a heat pump and geothermal system, heat is absorbed into the refrigerant in a coil as air passes over it. At that point, the refrigerant has to move the heat either indoors or outdoors, depending on the season. One must remove the heat so the refrigerant can be recycled and used again to heat and cool the home. The main difference between geothermal systems and heat pumps is where the heat ends up, either in the air or in the earth. 

Geothermal systems still use blowers and ductwork like a conventional heating and cooling system. The main difference is a group loop system and a pump that circulates water through the ground loop to deposit or absorb heat. This makes them incredibly more efficient than any other heating and cooling system, with the only slight disadvantage being the higher upfront cost of digging the group loop. 

Types of Geothermal Heat Pump Systemstypes

The ground loop is the biggest feature of a geothermal system, and four different types exist to accommodate factors like climate, soil type, and space. The four types of ground loops are:

  • Horizontal: Theis cheap buried closed-loop option is useful in areas with ample space. 
  • Vertical: Requires drilling holes up to 400 feet deep. These closed-loop systems are great for places with limited space for ground loops. 
  • Pond: This is the cheapest option if ponds are available because no excavation is required. Pipes are simply run in loops through the existing pond to act as a heat sink. 
  • Open-Loop: These require a well with ample supplies of clean water. They can be a great option if no other options are available. 

Benefits of Geothermal Systemssave

Geothermal systems are more expensive upfront, but the benefits make up for this. Geothermal systems are 400% more efficient than other cooling systems, including heat pumps. Some of the reasons why they are consistently chosen in new construction are: 

  • Energy savings
  • Eco-friendly operation
  • Quiet operation
  • Reliability
  • Fewer repairs
  • Greater longevity
  • Consistent comfort 

About Easco Air Conditioning and Heating

Easco Air Conditioning and Heating have over 30 years of experience helping its clients understand heating and cooling efficiency. As local geothermal experts, they offer honest recommendations and emergency services. Call today for upfront pricing on geothermal installations in Conroe, TX. 

Save Money With Rebates, Tax Credits, and Lower Utility Bills With a Heat Pump

How the Inflation Reduction Act Incentivizes Energy Efficient Upgrades

The Inflation Reduction Act will help lower prescription drug costs, lower energy costs, and power communities with more clean energy, among other things. Homeowners can take advantage of tax credits and rebates offered in this act to help incentivize them to make clean energy or energy-efficient upgrades.

One energy-efficient appliance that rebates and tax credits are offered for is heat pumps. The tax credit is good for 30 percent of the heat pump and labor cost, up to $2,000, and applies only to installations beginning in 2023.

However, homeowners don’t have to wait until next year to take advantage of heat pump tax credits! Thanks to the Consolidated Appropriations Act, homeowners will receive a 26 percent tax credit on geothermal heat pumps in service before January 1st, 2023. After that date, the tax credit drops to 22 percent, so homeowners should act fast to get a higher tax credit for geothermal heat pumps.

Rebates can help to make the cost of installation more affordable, and when combined with tax credits and the energy savings on the utility bills, heat pumps can save homeowners a lot of money. Replacing an electric furnace due to wear and tear with a high-efficiency heat pump can save Texas households an average of $670 a year on utility bills.

What is a Heat Pump?

heat pumpHeat pumps are energy-efficient systems that move heat from one place to another and can be used for heating and cooling purposes. They work by using a refrigerant to absorb heat from the air, water, or ground and then transferring it to another location where it is needed. Heat pumps are used in various applications, including heating and cooling homes and businesses and powering refrigerators and freezers.

There are several different types of heat pumps. The most common type is the air-source heat pump, which transfers heat between the home and the outside air. Other types of heat pumps include ground-source or geothermal heat pumps, which transfer heat between the house and the ground, and water-source heat pumps, which transfer heat between the home and a body of water. A heat pump may be the perfect solution for homeowners looking for an efficient and cost-effective way to heat or cool a home or office.

Benefits of Heat Pumps

heat pumps save moneyHeat pumps are highly efficient and can save a lot of money on energy costs over time. They are also very versatile and can be used in various settings. Some benefits of using a heat pump include improved indoor air quality, increased energy efficiency, and versatile climate control.

Heat pumps use less energy than traditional heating and cooling methods, such as furnaces and air conditioners, which saves homeowners money on energy costs. Heat pumps improve indoor air quality by circulating fresh air throughout the home or business. Heat pumps can also provide both heating and cooling, making them a versatile option for climate control. Before installing a heat pump, consult a qualified HVAC contractor to determine if it’s the right option for a home's needs.

About Easco Air Conditioning and Heating

Easco Air Conditioning and Heating is a family-owned and operated company with four decades of experience serving its neighbors in Conroe, TX, and the surrounding areas. They provide upfront pricing, fast turnarounds, and customer education. Call them today for heat pump services in Conroe, TX.

Professional Tips for Improving Indoor Air Quality

Improve Indoor Air Quality for National Wellness Month

This August is National Wellness Month! Homeowners can improve their health and wellness by improving their home’s indoor air quality. Indoor air quality can have major health effects on the respiratory system. Regular HVAC maintenance and air purifiers are two ways homeowners can have cleaner air at home.

Air quality is measured by the number of air pollutants present, humidity, and other factors impacting human health. People with asthma, children, and the elderly are especially susceptible to poor indoor air quality effects. In this blog post, our HVAC experts discuss how poor air quality affects health and what homeowners can do about it.

bad air effects

Poor Air Quality Can Have Long-Term Health Effects

Too much or too little humidity in the air can make it difficult to breathe. Air conditioning tends to dry out the air by removing some moisture in the cooling process. During the summer, indoor air conditioning can irritate respiratory systems by drying out the air. Adding a humidifier can help to prevent the negative side effects of air conditioning.

Some of the health effects of indoor air quality can have long-term consequences for homeowners. Poor air quality can aggravate asthma symptoms and cause allergy attacks which could be life-threatening. Long-term exposure to air pollutants can damage the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs.

Examples of air pollutants include pollen, dust, dander, mold, and pet hair. The smaller the airborne particle is, the more damaging it is for human health. Small particles of contaminants are easily inhaled into the lungs, wreaking havoc on the body’s systems. Airborne contaminants can also include germs, bacteria, and viruses.

Chronic exposure to mold, asbestos and other airborne pollutants can result in heart disease, cancer, and respiratory illnesses. Improving indoor air quality at home can help homeowners to live longer, healthier lives.

Remove Indoor Air Pollutants with Air Filtersair filter replacement

Almost all HVAC units use air filters to remove airborne pollutants from the air before it gets sucked into the air intake. Ventilation is an important part of having good indoor air quality. As the air ventilates through the system, the air filter catches particles of dust and hair to prevent them from recirculating.

It is recommended that homeowners change air filters every one to three months. Some air filters are better than others at filtering out minuscule particles of pollutants. Homeowners may consider investing in high-quality air filters to prevent allergies. Changing the air filter more often can also improve air quality.

Doing HVAC maintenance can help to promote good indoor air quality by preventing dust and other debris from being circulated in the air via the HVAC system. During maintenance appointments, a professional HVAC technician can assess the home’s indoor air quality and make recommendations for the homeowner.

Air Purifiers and Air Sanitizers

Homeowners can use portable air cleaners to improve their air quality beyond what the regular HVAC system is capable of with air filters. Air purifiers are portable filtration systems that remove particles of contaminants from the air that regular air filters may miss. The best air purifiers remove the tiniest airborne particles, including dust and pollen.

Air sanitizers are different from air purifiers in that they do not filter out particles of contaminants, but rather they use UV light to kill germs and bacteria in the air. During cold and flu season, air sanitizers are a powerful tool for stopping the spread of illness via the air. Air sanitizers can even kill viruses.

About Easco Air Conditioning and Heating

The experienced HVAC technicians at Easco Air Conditioning and Heating are proud to provide prompt and professional service at every appointment. Since 1982, they have delivered a high standard of service for all of their customers. Homeowners can rely on the Easco Air Conditioning and Heating team for fair and up-front pricing on all HVAC services. Call Easco Air Conditioning and Heating today to schedule an appointment for HVAC maintenance in Conroe, TX!

Making Their Own Luck: Pros Share Tips for AC Repair

March Tips for AC Maintenance

Spring is just around the corner, and the air conditioning will soon be humming away to keep homes comfortable as the temperatures increase. Just as any appliance may need a bit of attention after sitting idle, a home’s air conditioning unit may need a bit of tweaking before it is fully ready to keep a house cool. Here are a few suggestions for keeping the air conditioner in working order, preventing the dreaded emergency AC repair phone call. 

Keep the Air Filter Clean

filter One of the first things that should be done when a homeowner is getting ready to turn on their cooling unit is to clean or replace the air filters. Air filters are an essential part of a central heating and cooling system. They capture pollutants such as pollen, dust, pet hair, and the like. This capture prevents the spread of such irritants and the subsequent breathing difficulties from such a spread.

As the air filter traps these particles, it is more difficult for the air to flow through the filter and the AC unit has to work harder. This can lead to the need for AC repair. Air filter replacement or cleaning every 3 months is highly recommended for keeping the AC unit at its most efficient. 

Troubleshoot the Thermostat

thermostatIf the air conditioning unit has been properly maintained but still isn’t cooling the way it should, the problem may be with the thermostat or thermostats. If the thermostat is not measuring the temperature properly or not communicating with the AC unit, then the house will grow uncomfortable very quickly.

Here are a few of the reasons the temperature on the thermostat and the temperature in the home may not be matched up and how to fix them:

  • Dusty Thermostat: If the thermostat has not been cleaned, then the likelihood that it has dust accumulation is very high. A gentle dusting with a cloth or canned air is a good way to clean the thermostat.
  • Loose Wiring: Make sure the connections within the thermostat are tight.
  • Broken Temperature Sensors: A thermostat cannot do its job without a working thermometer. The whole unit may need to be replaced.
  • Auto Mode/Locked Mode: Some thermostats have a setting that does not allow the temperature to be adjusted. Check the owner’s manual for setting instructions.

Regular Air Conditioning Maintenance

The best way to prevent emergency air conditioner repair is to call the professionals before the unit stops working. Air conditioner maintenance is key to keeping a hard-working AC unit up and running. Maintenance should be done every six months and includes the following tasks which ultimately keep the machine in its best possible condition:

  • Filter changing
  • Tightening electrical connections
  • Cleaning the coils
  • Checking coolant levels
  • Replacing coolant
  • Replacing damaged parts
  • Cleaning the duct system and checking for damage

About Easco Air Conditioning and Heating

With nearly 40 years of experience in Huntsville, TX, Easco Air Conditioning and Heating offers unmatched service and expertise in the field. Same-day appointments are available. Call today and ask about the membership maintenance plan

Staying in This Valentine's Day? Make Sure the Temperature Works Well!

Optimizing Heating for a Romantic Night in

Who doesn't like the warm heat that generates from central heating equipment? This warmth is especially appreciated during the cold months, where many romantic night-ins occur, like Valentine's Day.

To enjoy a romantic night, homeowners should double-check that their central heating service is working efficiently. If not, this can cause an increase in energy bills as the system struggles to work hard to frequently push warm water inside to raise the temperature.

Check for Drafts in Windows and Doors

The first thing that homeowners should check for is drafts. Most of the time, drafts are small but can cause headaches! Thankfully, this issue is easily fixable, and most times, homeowners won't need to contact their local heating company.

Energy-efficient heating is not possible either if there are drafts in the windows or doors. Why is that? Drafts are caused by small tears, cracks, or holes. This allows air to release, making it hard for the inside of a home to stay at the set temperature.

Drafts are easy to miss because they are small! It is best to call an HVAC contractor to focus on finding the problem. With years of experience and many tools, they can find the exact cause of a homeowner's heating problems.

Look into Installing Energy Star Certified Windowswindows

If homeowners are looking into optimizing home heating, they can look at the energy star-certified windows options. These windows are easy to use and install, but it is best to call an HVAC contractor as the windows are fragile.

Unlike normal windows, energy star-certified windows work by purposefully creating a thick seal, not allowing any drafts to form. There are many different types for all kinds of homes and clients!

For example, it is best to find a window with shade in states and locations where it is primarily hot. This way, the thickness can keep the cool air in, and the shading property repels the sun's harsh rays.

contractorMake Sure Equipment Is Worked on By a Reputable Heating Contractor

Before hiring just anyone, homeowners should research heating and HVAC contractors. Although there are many great contractors, not everyone specializes in the services that homeowners are looking for.

The best way to do this is by doing research. Thankfully, many contracting companies have google reviews with photos. Reviewers and past customers can post photos, praise, and complaints of the job completed.

Not only are good reviews necessary, but small things like certifications, licenses, and insurance. Always pick a company with full insurance so all belongings are taken care of. Homeowners need to protect themselves when allowing a heating contractor to look over their equipment and home.

About Easco Air Conditioning and Heating

This company has been operating for over 30 years in their community, providing HVAC services. Not only do they provide excellent services, but they do so with a smile and pride! Call them today for reputable HVAC services in the Conroe, TX area.