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How Geothermal Works!

Understanding Closed Versus Open Loop Geothermal Systems

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The point of geothermal systems is to use ground loops to regulate temperature in a home. If you are considering a geothermal system, you have probably heard the terms “closed loop” and “open loop”. Here is what you need to know about both.

Know the Differences Between Closed Loop and Open Loop Systems

A closed loop geothermal system utilizes a heat transfer solution through buried pipes. You fill the loop just once, with a moderate amount of solution, requiring little work once this is done. The pipes connect to an indoor heat pump to provide temperature control.

Open loop systems take clean groundwater and deliver it to an indoor geothermal pump. When the water leaves the home, it goes through a discharge well. The water may then be re-directed into a local pond or drainage ditch.

Understand the Advantages and Disadvantages of Both

An important factor for most people making decisions about their home, is cost. With an open loop system, you do not need to drill or bury pipe. Making it the cheaper option in terms of installation. A closed loop system, on the other hand, requires trenching, drilling, and burying.

Next, is the question of durability. Open loop systems do degrade over time, especially when there is a high mineral content. Closed loop systems, while initially more expensive, can last for 50 or more years with minimal maintenance. Once installed, it becomes a permanent piece of the property.

Talk to the Professionals

Overall, installing a geothermal system for your home can provide many benefits. If you are still unsure if it’s right for you, contact the professionals at Chesapeake Geosystems. Call 410-489-1712 or email us today, we will be more than happy to answer any of your questions.

Protect Your Well Water

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Contaminated well water can pose several risks to your health and the health of others. Keeping your well free from pollution is the key to keeping your water, and those around you, safe. The following are a few ways you can prevent pollution from affecting your water well.

Pay Attention

While your water may be tucked away beneath the ground, out of sight out of mind does not apply. In the area surrounding your well, there are a few things you must pay close attention to, including:

  • Disposal – Keep all your waste and other disposed items away from the well.
  • Runoff – You don’t ever want runoff to seep down into the well, so make sure your drainage system works properly and directs runoff elsewhere.
  • Chemicals – Don’t ever use fertilizers, pesticides, or other chemicals near your well site.
  • Septic System – Keep your septic system well maintained so you don’t have any cross-contamination.

Schedule Regular Tests

Your well water should be tested on a regular basis. These tests check for minerals, pollutants, lead, sulfate, and bacteria that shouldn’t be in the water. There could also be some serious problems with your groundwater, and testing will alert you to them. Experts recommend you have a test performed once per year, but if you have individuals in your home with certain health risks, more frequent tests may be advised.

In addition to regular tests, you should contact the professionals to test your well water if there has been a flood, you’ve replaced any component of your well water system, it has malfunctioned, or there is a construction project going on in the neighborhood.

Contacting the Professionals

To learn more or to schedule an inspection, contact a professional today. Contact Chesapeake Geosystems by calling 410-489-1712 or sending us an email today!

geothermal cooling and heating

The Advantages of Geothermal Heating and Cooling

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Geothermal pumps are becoming more popular as a heating and cooling system option. With the upfront costs, you may wonder if it is worth it. The following advantages will make it clear that geothermal heating and cooling, is in fact worth every penny.

Quiet Operation

The entire system runs quietly. There are no outdoor condensing units and the units indoors are quiet. This can be a relief from traditional HVAC systems.

Safe System

The safety of your home is always a priority. There is no combustion involved with these systems, therefore, no concern. Carbon monoxide poisoning is also not a worry for families with geothermal heating and cooling systems.

Comfortable Air Quality

When it comes to your indoor air quality, you deserve comfort. Geothermal heat pumps purify the air and dehumidify, improving your overall indoor air quality. If you have allergy sufferers in your home, this type of system is very advantageous.

Lower Costs

Homeowners have to think about affordability. The initial cost of a geothermal heat pump can be higher than more traditional options. However, what makes the pump worth it, is the money you will save over time. The lower operating costs will more than make up for it. In fact, these pumps could end up paying for themselves in as little as three years.

In addition to the cost savings after the initial installation, you will have your geothermal pump for at least 10 to 15 years. As long as you keep up with regular maintenance, they can last you over a decade. Part of what keeps them running so long is the fact that they are underground and not subject to the same elements as other systems.

Eco-Friendly System

When it comes to environmentally friendly ways to heat and cool your home, geothermal is one of the top ways to do so. In fact, it does not produce any carbon monoxide or greenhouse gases. It will not add to your carbon footprint and uses very little electricity over the course of the year.

Geothermal heating and cooling systems can lower your overall costs and provide you with safe, clean air. For more information, contact Chesapeake Geosystems by calling 410-489-1712 or emailing us today!

Debunking Geothermal Myths

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When it comes to green energy, geothermal energy is one of the least understood. Consequently, its popularity pales in comparison to solar and wind energy options. This is often because of myths that have circulated for some time. Here are six of the most common, and the truths behind them.

Myth: Short Lifespan

Fact: All systems wear out over time, including solar, windmills, and your regular HVAC system. Solar systems last for 20 years, while windmills can last for 20 to 25 years. Regular HVAC systems typically need replacing at 15 to 20 years. Geothermal systems top them all with a lifespan of 25+ years.

Myth: Too Bulky

Fact: Many people believe they’ll lose too much square footage to a geothermal system in comparison to a traditional HVAC system. However, geothermal setups are actually compact and much of the system is underground.

Myth: Too Noisy

Fact: Not only are geothermal units not loud, but you might struggle to hear it at all. Homeowners who are light sleepers and struggle to sleep with the window unit or HVAC will appreciate the quieter space.

Myth: Only Useful in Warm Weather

Fact: The rumor goes that geothermal systems can only cool homes and so they only work in warmer weather. This notion is false. Underground temperatures are constant around the world, regardless of the above weather conditions. During the winter, heat pumps compensate for the cold air above to keep you warm.

Myth: Quite Costly

Fact: The initial setup of a geothermal system does require higher upfront costs than other traditional options, just like solar. However, they are becoming more affordable and the long-term savings are worth the initial investment.

Myth: Not Suitable for Homes

Fact: Homeowners often wonder how a geothermal system can be installed beneath an existing home, but modern-day engineering makes this an easy project. If you’re building your home from the ground up, it’s even easier.

Call the Professionals

If you’re interested in the installation, upgrade, or maintenance of a geothermal system, consider working with the east coast’s geothermal leader. Chesapeake Geosystems brings 30 years of experience to the table and is ready to serve you. Call 410-489-1712 or email us today to learn more.

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!