Geothermal offers cost-effective alternative to volatile fuel prices and propane shortages

FORT WAYNE, Ind., Mar. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — In the face of recent propane
shortages and record high prices for the fuel – some rural areas reported
deliveries as high as $8 per gallon – homeowners who rely on propane to heat
their homes are beginning to consider more reliable, less costly alternatives.
With increasing frequency, many are turning to geothermal, attracted by its
ability to reduce heating and cooling costs by as much as 70 percent while
relying on a clean, renewable and unlimited energy source.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that geothermal heat pumps
are the most energy efficient, environmentally clean and cost-effective space
conditioning system available today. In fact, according to the Geothermal
Exchange Organization (GEO), calculations from a major geothermal heat pump
manufacturer show that at average prices during this year’s blizzards, thermal
energy from the earth saves 426 percent compared to fuel oil, 81 percent
compared to natural gas, and an astounding 615 percent compared to propane.

A geothermal system takes advantage of free solar energy stored just below the
surface of the earth. Using a series of pipes (an earth loop) buried in the
ground and a geothermal (sometimes referred to as a ground source) heat pump,
the geothermal heating and cooling system extracts heat from the earth and
carries it to a building in the winter. An indoor unit compresses the heat to a
higher temperature and distributes it throughout the structure. In the summer,
the process reverses and the system extracts heat from the building and rejects
it to the earth.

“In both cases, the geothermal system delivers consistent temperatures and
efficiencies that exceed those of conventional HVAC systems, offering savings as
high as 70 percent for heating, cooling and hot water,” said Tim Litton,
director of marketing communications at WaterFurnace International, Inc., the
leading manufacturer of geothermal and water source heat pumps. “That’s because
the most efficient geothermal systems can deliver an astounding five units of
energy for every one unit of electrical energy used, which translates to a 500
percent efficiency rating.”

A geothermal system runs more frequently than other heating and cooling systems
and at lower speeds, which means the air is always circulating through the house
to reduce hot and cold spots as it increases comfort levels. Constant
circulation also means air inside the home regularly circulates through the air
filter, improving indoor air quality (IAQ).

In addition, a geothermal system does not require combustion and therefore
produces none of the products associated with combustion, including carbon
monoxide, which can negatively impact the air you breathe. Nor does it require a
system to vent monoxide and other dangerous exhaust gases.

“Homeowners who have installed a geothermal system will also tell you that the
system is quiet,” added Litton. “There are no noisy outdoor components and, best
of all, no storage tanks to fill. Instead, all the equipment is located inside,
conveniently sized and constructed for quiet, efficient operation.”

What’s more, the average lifespan of a geothermal system is 25 years, compared
to 15 years for a more traditional heating and cooling system, and in many
cases, earth heat exchange loops are warranted for up to 50 years.

Homeowners who install a geothermal system prior to Dec. 31, 2016, can take
advantage of a federal renewable energy tax credit that offers a tax incentive
of 30 percent of the installed cost of the system. This credit can be used in
combination with utility rebates and state tax incentives, where available, to
make geothermal systems more affordable than ever.

To learn more about making the switch to geothermal, visit the WaterFurnace
website at www.waterfurnace.com/switch, or talk to a WaterFurnace expert at
1-800-GEO-SAVE.

WaterFurnace International, Inc.
WaterFurnace International, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of residential,
commercial, industrial and institutional geothermal and water source heat pumps.
Products from WaterFurnace include energy-efficient and environmentally friendly
geothermal comfort systems, indoor air quality products and pool heaters.
WaterFurnace (TSX:WFI) was founded in 1983, and the company is headquartered in
Fort Wayne, Ind. For the latest news and updates from WaterFurnace, connect with
us on your favorite social media sites – follow us on Twitter (@WaterFurnace),
like us on Facebook or view the WaterFurnace YouTube Channel.

Related links:

geothermal – http://www.waterfurnace.com/geo_energy.aspx

Geothermal Exchange Organization – http://www.geoexchange.org

heat pump – http://www.waterfurnace.com/geothermal-heat-pumps.aspx

WaterFurnace – http://www.waterfurnace.com

switch to geothermal – http://www.waterfurnace.com/switch/

SOURCE WaterFurnace International, Inc.

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