Precision and Skill for a Perfect Geothermal Solution
A Closer Look at a Geothermal System
In the May/June issue of TWJ, Brandywine Valley Heating & Air Conditioning’s (BVA) column featured an introduction to Dale & Susan Fren’s historic home renovation project. The Frens chose to install a geothermal heating and cooling system, which fits West Chester’s Borough Leaders United for Emissions Reduction (BLUER) goals to reduce carbon footprint of the borough. This month, readers get a closer look at the project components and process.
When owners choose a new heating/cooling system for their home or business, comfort and operating cost are two major factors. Many clients also consider the system’s impact on the environment.
What’s behind a geothermal heating and cooling system that works perfectly–keeps you comfortable, trims your utility bills and reduces your carbon footprint–is a team of skilled designers, installers and service personnel. Brandywine Valley Heating & Air Conditioning brings such a team into play with every geothermal installation.
Your Home’s Heating/ Cooling Requirements
All properly installed geothermal systems start with a proper design; first an engineering calculation is done to determine the heating and cooling needs of the structure. Brandywine Valley uses the Air Conditioning Contractors of America’s (ACCA), manual J8, which is a nationally recognized industry standard. This heat loss, heat gain calculation helps define the size of the heat pump size and air duct distribution system, as well as the ground loop requirements.
Your Needs for Comfort, Based on Usage
The next step for a proper geothermal installation is a thorough interview with the homeowners to determine the usage of space and their comfort concerns.
Ground loops provide the means to discharge heat into the ground in the summer months and to extract heat from the ground during winter months. There are several ways to create a ground loop, but the two most common are a horizontal buried loop or vertical loop (well).
The limited space in the Fren’s yard made a vertical loop the best choice. It required excellent skills and precision drilling on the part of the
drilling contractor. BVA called on Sensenig & Weaver of Denver, PA, to drill the wells, based on the company’s experience in working at challenging sites. A drilling rig came onto the Fren’s property and drilled four wells, 6-inches in diameter and 200 feet deep.
Once the wells are drilled the exchange loop is installed. This loop is comprised of a special plastic pipe that transfers energy from deep within the earth to the geothermal heat pump exchanger located in the Frens’ basement.
With this system, the Frens can look forward to economical and environmentally friendly heating and cooling for years to come when their renovation is complete. With proper planning and execution, a geothermal system can be an optimal solution for your home or business. Let BVA show you how.
Next issue: Get a closer look at a heat pump system and the economics of a geothermal installation.