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What You Need To Know About Geothermal and Sustainability

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Over the past few decades, people have shown a stronger interest in green energy. At first, people waited for governments to take the lead. When they failed to do so quickly enough, private enterprises stepped in to provide infrastructure and push green technology, such as solar.

This then allowed more consumers to step into the green energy market and take initiative themselves. Still, one type of green energy many people don’t discuss often enough is geothermal. Here’s what you need to know about it.

What Is Geothermal Energy?

Geothermal may sound like new technology, but it’s actually been around for several years. The process behind it is also fairly simple. There is natural heat beneath the earth’s surface. Geothermal technology allows homeowners to access this to regulate temperatures in their houses. Most people believe geothermal heat pumps only provide heat, but it can cool your home as well.

What Are the Benefits?

For people who are concerned about reducing their carbon footprint, this is an excellent way to achieve that goal. It provides clean and renewable energy with little effect on the natural environment beyond the initial drilling process. Geothermal energy creates less carbon dioxide emissions than natural gas plants — roughly one-sixth.

Geothermal also helps to fill the gaps left by solar energy. The cost of installation for a solar energy system that can heat and cool a home can be expensive. Air conditioning units use a lot of energy. Now, you can use a smaller solar installation for the rest of your needs while relying on geothermal for heating and cooling.

How Long Does It Take?

One of the biggest concerns homeowners often have is how long it will take to install the system. After all, drilling into the earth sounds like a fair bit of work. It takes roughly two days, depending on weather conditions and soil type.

Contact Chesapeake Geosystems

Chesapeake Geosystems provides geothermal HVAC systems for residences in the Maryland and D.C. area. Call 410-489-1712 or email us today for more information.

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What to Know About Geothermal Tax Benefits

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If you are thinking about installing a geothermal HVAC system, you probably already know many of the benefits. What you may not realize is that there are also tax benefits to the installation. If you want the best savings possible, in terms of tax credits, you will want to install your system as soon as possible. Here is what you need to know about the benefits.

What Is the Energy Credit?

An energy credit is a 30% credit that was reinstated through 2019. You can apply it retroactively to any installation after January 2017. This tax will decrease in percentage over the next few years. Through 2019, it is 30% of your total costs, in 2020, it will be 26% and in 2021, it will be 22%.

What Is Eligible for the Credit?

If your geothermal equipment meets the Energy Star requirements and uses stored energy from the ground, then it is eligible for a tax credit. You can cover the expenses of labor, preparation, and installation. If you have more than one property and system, you can claim more than one. Now, you cannot claim the credit if you spend it on equipment used for hot tubs or pools. You also cannot claim it on rental homes.

How Do You Claim the Credit?

In order to claim the credit, you would have to use IRS Form 5695. You can use this tax credit to offset regular income taxes and alternative minimum taxes. If your tax credit exceeds the tax liability, then you can carry the excess amount for future years.

When it comes to a geothermal HVAC system, you not only have a more energy-efficient cooling and heating system but also you can claim tax credits. To install or repair your geothermal HVAC to take advantage of tax savings, contact Chesapeake Geosystems by calling 410-489-1712 or emailing us today to learn more!

How Geothermal Systems Keep Your Home Warm in Winter

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How Geothermal Systems Keep Your Home Warm in Winter

Most homes receive heat through a heat pump. Heat pumps siphon heat from outdoor air to provide the interior with warmth. Often, in cold temperatures, the energy efficiency of a heat pump reduces. Geothermal pumps, on the other hand, do not have this problem. These are ground-source pumps. They are more reliable than other forms of heating because it does not matter what the outside temperature is. They also offer savings beyond heat pumps and gas and electric furnaces. Here is why it works so well.

How Does Geothermal Heating Work?

Geothermal pumps draw heat from the outside like a standard heat pump. The biggest difference is the location that the pump draws it from. A geothermal pump uses a mixture of water and antifreeze from underground loops to gather heat. Then it passes it through a heat exchanger, sends the heat to the refrigerant and circulates through the components of the heat pump.

Now, the reason that the outdoor temperature does not matter is because the loops are deep enough underground that they do not come in contact with the frost. Meaning, it does not matter how cold the ground is during winter. Anything deeper than five feet in the Earth maintains a temperature of 45 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. That is enough warmth for a geothermal heat pump to use without any strain. In the summer, if you use it for cooling, it is still cool enough underground to cool your home efficiently.

If you have a problem with energy efficiency in the winter, then you may want to think about your heat pump. Geothermal pumps work because they do not draw on frigid outdoor temperatures. When it drops below freezing, your pump has to work extra hard to warm your home. Underground, there is a more consistent temperature for your pump to rely on. For more information on geothermal HVAC systems, contact Chesapeake Geosystems by calling 410-489-1712 or emailing us today!

A Brief History of Water Wells

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For many Americans, the idea of being responsible for their own tap water may seem archaic. It is much easier to rely on centralized water supply. However, this is not an option in every community. As a result, water wells still play a role even in modern homes all across the country.

The Old Water Wells

The practice of digging water wells began roughly 8,000 years ago. Archaeologists have discovered the oldest wells in Israel, China, and India. Until 1808, people dug wells by hand. This was very labor-intensive, but people made good progress. One hand-dug well in Brighton got down to 1,285 feet deep. Workers dug around the clock for four long years before they accessed the groundwater.

The New Water Wells

In 1808, two inventors created the drill, which made well-digging even easier. Over the years, advancement in technology led to further improvements. One of the key benefits of the newer drills was that they reduced the possibility of contamination as workers pumped water to the surface. In modern-day America, wells are common in rural areas. Wells are also popular with environmentalists who prefer to live sustainably off the grid.

Why Dig a Water Well

Electricity is centralized in almost all communities in the U.S. However, it is common for rural homes to operate as separate units when it comes to sourcing water as there is often no centralized supply in place for this. Even when there is, people may prefer wells because it is cheaper than having a water bill. Some farmers may also rely on wells to help them irrigate their farms, particularly when they have limited access to surface water and rainwater.

Residents in some areas of Maryland face a limited supply of water. While they may have plenty now, municipalities worry about providing water in the future. Chesapeake Geosystems can provide the services you need to keep you independent of the central water supply. Give us a call at 410-489-1712 or send us an email today to schedule an appointment.

 

What Is the Difference Between Hard and Soft Water?

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What Is Soft Water?

When there is a low concentration of ions, particularly magnesium and calcium, in the water, it is known as soft water. Where you live depends on what water ends up classified as soft. In the US, water with 60 mg/l of calcium carbonate is considered soft.

Soft water lacks minerals, making it unsuitable for consuming, however this lack of minerals can be beneficial in other ways. Soft water cleans better without leaving behind the residue found in hard water, and the same goes for your skin. Soft water is better on your skin, leaving it cleaner and softer.

What Is Hard Water?

Hard water is simply water with high mineral content. Hard water forms when water percolates through limestone and chalk deposits. Due to the high mineral content, drinking hard water can have health benefits such as combating, and even preventing, heart disease. Hard water picks up minerals in natural waterways.

Hard water can also have negative effects. For instance, hard water may leave clothes looking dingy, your dishes with spots, and may even dry out your skin. Due to the residue left behind by hard water, it will often decrease the lifespan of your appliances, such as a dishwasher and washing machine. Hard water also uses up more energy, negatively affecting the environment as well as your energy bill.

What Is the Difference?

The main difference is the mineral content. Rainwater is soft water, whereas hard water is water that goes through waterways and picks up minerals. They both have their own sets of pros and cons, for example, hard water is great for drinking and certain disease prevention, but not so great for household cleaning or keeping your skin soft. Soft water may be better for keeping your skin soft and your dishes clean, but when it comes to drinking it, it can lead to several health issues.

Understanding the difference between hard water and soft water can help you make decisions for your own home. To learn more about the two types, and what you can do about the water in your home, contact Chesapeake Geosystems. Call 410-489-1712 or email us today

Understanding Geothermal Cooling

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Central air conditioners can be costly to run and repair. A sudden air conditioner breakdown can be particularly frustrating in the middle of summer. Learn how you can enjoy cool, affordable, and reliable climate control by using geothermal cooling.

What Is Geothermal?

Geothermal heat is the earth’s natural warmth. Below ground, the temperature remains constant regardless of the air temperature. A geothermal cooling unit works by taking advantage of this consistent temperature to cool or heat your home.

Geothermal Cooling Units

A professional geothermal cooling unit can offer you the cool indoor temperatures you need without excessive utility bills. They work by running a mixture of water and antifreeze through pipes buried as deep as 10 feet in the ground. These pipes circulate water from below ground to the surface, thereby creating a consistent water temperature.

In the summer, this temperature is significantly cooler than the air temperature. A refrigerant coil, blower fan, and ventilation system take advantage of the cool temperatures to affordably circulate comfortably cool air throughout your building.

Geothermal Cooling Advantages

While ductless air conditioners are growing in popularity in homes around the area, these systems take the current air temperature and either cool or heat the air. In many cases, this is far less efficient than a geothermal unit.

Geothermal units utilize the constant temperatures beneath the ground, so you’ll enjoy a more energy-efficient system when faced with extreme temperatures in the summer and winter. This environmentally friendly system is an excellent choice if you’re looking for an affordable alternative to cool down.

Receive a Quote Today

Don’t wait to enjoy the advantages of a geothermal cooling unit today. Contact Chesapeake Geosystems today to receive a quote and schedule an installation service. Enjoy prompt and professional service as you install, use, and maintain your new heating and cooling alternative. Save money and enjoy years of cool, comfortable temperatures by calling 410-489-1712 or emailing us today!

The Well Pump: To Repair or Replace?

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Just like any feature of a property, your well pump needs regular maintenance if you want it to run smoothly. Because it’s essential for fresh water, it’s important to place maintenance as a top priority. But what happens when something malfunctions? Your well pump isn’t exempt from emergent situations, so it’s best to be prepared for when such a scenario takes place. Do you know when to repair and when to replace? The professionals can help you make that decision, but the following are some things to keep in mind when faced with this situation.

 

Repairing the Well Pump

A well pump repair will typically cost less than replacing it altogether, so naturally, you’d hope for a repair. Some things that may necessitate a repair include small problems with the motor or minor damage to the hardware. With parts on hand, a professional can typically have repairs taken care of in just a short amount of time.

 

Replacing the Well Pump

If your water bill seems to be spiking, the water pressure isn’t constant, or your fresh water is dirty, a replacement may be the best option. Some of these issues can be repaired, but in many cases, a replacement will be more cost-effective. You could also hire someone to replace the well pump if the motor makes it fail altogether or if you’re experiencing other mechanical issues.

 

How You’ll Know

The easiest way to know whether you should repair or replace your well pump is by asking a professional. What you might think is a small problem could actually be a failing motor. What you might see as minor damage could have a whole domino effect of other problems. When you throw in the towel and decide to replace the well pump, it could just need a tiny repair you’re unaware of.

 

When you have an experienced, trained professional take a look at your well pump, you’re more likely to end up with the right solution for your situation. Contact Chesapeake Geosystems, Inc. today at 410-489-1712 to learn more or to schedule an inspection.

Why Geothermal Energy Is a Worthy Investment

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During discussions about renewable energy sources for residential buildings, wind mills and solar panels most often come to mind. Geothermal is a less talked-about option, but is, nonetheless, a worthy investment for heating and cooling building structures. Here’s why you should consider a geothermal option.

 

Cheaper Than Fossil Fuels

Setting up geothermal systems do require a larger initial investment than fossil fuels. Even so, the system pays for itself several times over. You can expect cost savings of up to 80% compared to fossil fuel options.

 

No to Low Maintenance Required

Geothermal systems don’t require many moving parts. This contributes to the system’s longevity. Heat pumps can last for up to 20 years, and warranties on the main parts typically range from 25 to 50 years. Not only will you rarely need to do heavy maintenance work and repairs, but it likely won’t be out of pocket for some time to come.

 

Quiet During Operation

Both window units and wind mills can be loud when you are in close proximity to them. For factories, on-site prefab construction sites, and other places where noise levels are high, this may not be a problem. For homes, classrooms, and office spaces, people will appreciate that smooth, quiet operation.

 

More Design Flexibility

High ceilings are one of the main selling points homeowners and businessowners look forward to when purchasing property. Unfortunately, plumbing and HVAC units can take up half a foot or more of the ceiling height. In small spaces, lower ceilings can make the space feel even more cramped. Geothermal systems take up much less space, allowing architects to add anything from storage to skylights above.

 

Unlike solar and wind energy, geothermal energy is used specifically for heating and cooling structures. This makes it a great solution for people who want to lower their heating and cooling costs, but don’t wish to completely go off the grid. Contact Chesapeake Geosystems by calling 410-489-1712 or sending an email to lisa@chesapeakegeo.info for more information today.

What to Consider When Buying a Geothermal Heat Pump

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You’ve likely noticed just how expensive it can be to cool and heat your home, which can chip away at your overall comfort level. Rather than roast or freeze in your own home, it’s better to look into alternate heating and cooling methods. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you’re considering a geothermal heat pump.

 

Recognize That You Can Save More Money Than You Realize

While the price and installation cost of a geothermal heat pump may give you pause, you have to look at the long-term financial benefits. For instance, some heat pumps can also heat your water at no additional cost. Depending on where you live, there may be local, state, and federal government incentives in place to help drive down the overall cost of your heat pump. This means you can start recouping your investment easier and faster.

 

Think About Overall Efficiency

Pay close attention to the heating and cooling efficiency of any geothermal heat pump you are considering. Even better, opt for models that meet ENERGY STAR’s most current ratings, guaranteeing efficiency.

 

Consider the Installation Site

Work with heat pump installation professionals to determine just how compatible your property is with heat pumps. Specifically, check the special, geological, and hydrological characteristics of the ground. With this information, you’ll know the type of ground loop that works best for you.

 

Choose the Right Heat Pump Installer

Not just anyone can install a geothermal heat pump the right way on your property. Specific techniques and equipment are necessary to do the job right. Be sure to check the professional credentials and professional background of any company you’re thinking of hiring. While you may have great land for a heat pump and choose the right pump model, neither will mean much if your heat pump is improperly installed by a disreputable technician.

 

Know that Chesapeake Geosystems has you and your home covered if you’re thinking of getting a geothermal heat pump. Call 410-489-1712 or email us today with any questions.

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How Do Solar and Geothermal Energy Systems Differ?

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As a property manager, it’s your job to make sure costs are kept at a minimum. Have you thought about installing a geothermal or solar energy system? Are you confused about the difference between the two? Don’t be! Solar energy and geothermal energy systems are completely different and actually work well when implemented together. The following breaks it down.

From the Sun or the Earth

Most people know that solar energy comes from the sun. Each day when the sun is shining, solar panels soak up the energy that is used to power a building. The power can be used for anything that a building would typically need electrical power to run.

In contrast, geothermal energy comes from the earth. If you were to go outside and dig a hole about six feet deep, you’d find soil that sits at 50 degrees year-round. A geothermal system uses that steady temperature to send heat into the building during winter months. In the same way, hot air is sent back down to the earth to keep the building cool during summer.

How the Two Work Together

As you can see, geothermal and solar energy systems do not exactly perform the same function. They do both provide a less expensive form of energy but in two different ways. That’s why they’re great when implemented together.

Geothermal energy does require a small amount of electricity. With a solar energy system installed, that power doesn’t have to come from the electric company. Instead, it can come right from the solar panels on your building. Together, the carbon footprint that your building would normally make could become eliminated altogether.

Getting Started With Your System

Saving the environment takes the dedication of everyone on the planet. Do your part by implementing alternative energy systems that work. To learn more about geothermal energy and how a system can work together with a solar energy system, contact Chesapeake Geosystems today by calling 410-489-1712 or sending an email and speak with a professional.