What to Know About Replacing Your Conventional HVAC with Geothermal Systems

Two outdoor HVAC units

Consider this information before replacing your HVAC unit with a geothermal system.

Geothermal heating and cooling systems are one of the best ways homeowners can currently reduce their utility bills and their home’s environmental impact. For many years, geothermal was considered an option only for newly constructed homes. However, as technology and the housing market has changed, geothermal heating and cooling has become a perfectly viable option for existing homes. In fact, 60% of Ground Loop’s work is focused on replacing conventional HVAC systems with our new geothermal systems. The idea of replacing your current HVAC system may seem overwhelming, but progress has been made which guarantees a smooth transition. Additionally, there are numerous benefits to be gained from a new geothermal system, which makes the replacement more than worth it. 

Why Geothermal is A Great Choice

If you have a traditional heat pump, its inefficiency can be a burden during colder temperatures. It either begins blowing lukewarm air or spins your electric meter like a top. It’s inefficient defrost cycle is also a hassle. Soon the benefit of low installation costs is forgotten as you shiver in your own home while continuing to pay a high electric bill. 

An oil or gas furnace is also an option, but many furnaces are unbalanced. That imbalance means that heat is put out so quickly that temperatures rise and fall to extreme heights in a cycle. Besides the heat fluctuation, the prices of fuel can become unpredictable and expensive. 

Geothermal heating and cooling systems use the consistent temperature of the earth from your backyard to keep you warm in winter and cool in summer. Geothermal systems regularly save customers as much as 60 to 70% on heating, cooling, and hot water costs. During the summer, the air is controlled from one centrally located unit inside the house, which keeps your equipment away from outdoor temperatures and weather. Upfront costs may be higher for geothermal systems, but the benefits of geothermal ownership make it a smart long-term financial investment. 

Should I Get a Replacement Geothermal System?

If your existing furnace or boiler is 20 years old or more, it may make sense to opt for a geothermal replacement. If the furnace is one or two decades old, and has maintenance costs or routinely does not heat or cool the home comfortably, you should consider a replacement. If your current system has a pilot light, it was probably installed before 1992 and has an efficiency of about 65 percent, compared to the 400 to 500 percent efficiency of a geothermal system. 

How Does the Replacement Work?

The replacement process is surprisingly tidy. When replacing the conventional HVAC system, the geothermal heating pump will likely go in the same place that your air-handler sits right now. The outside condenser or compressor section will then be eliminated, and the connecting refrigerant lines terminated. When adding a geothermal system to a home with an existing forced-air system powered by natural gas, propane, or heating oil, a geothermal system can use existing ductwork. 

In a retrofit situation, the geothermal split system creates a hybrid heating system in the home by adding geothermal to an existing furnace. In this system, the existing furnace acts as a backup for extreme temperatures. The geothermal heating coil fits above the pre-existing furnace and is connected to a remote geothermal compressor section. In older homes, this may be a more cost-effective solution compared to increasing the electric capacity required for an all-electric system. 

Is Geothermal Right for My Home?

The significant difference between geothermal systems and traditional HVAC systems is the ground loop. The ground loops are typically buried under the frost line of the ground surrounding the house. The loops are made of high-density polyethylene pipe and filled with a water and antifreeze solution before being connected to the heat pump. Your home must have sufficient land for the ground loop’s horizontal placement. Vertical placement is optional to save space, but more expensive. 

The Benefits

A geothermal system runs longer and with less intensity, which makes for a comfortable and quiet setting in the home. The improved comfort can also mean lower operating costs. Individual savings will depend on the climate of the home’s location, local energy rates, and thermostat settings. However, studies from the EPA indicate that most homeowners see a reduction of 30 to 40 percent in the heating and cooling costs with geothermal. The EPA also reported that geothermal systems have the lowest life-cycle cost of all heating and cooling systems on the market. 

The heat pump’s costs are close to those of a high-efficiency gas furnace or central air conditioner, but the geothermal heat pump has a longer service life. The additional costs that come with the digging and installation of the ground loops are eventually offset by the lower energy costs that you get to benefit from year-round. 

Additionally, if you are concerned about cost, Ground Loop has several financing options to best suit your needs. Whether it’s a 12 month same as cash, or more traditional financing, Ground Loop has the options for you. 


If you are concerned about high electricity bills in the winter, consider investing in geothermal heat pumps to help alleviate some of those costs. With many experienced technicians available, Ground Loop Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. can solve all your air conditioning system problems. If you are interested in creating the most comfortable environment for your family to enjoy, contact Ground Loop Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc.today.

You can reach us at 410-836-1706, or visit our website for more information! If you are interested in more information about geothermal heating and cooling systems, check us out on Twitter,YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

We serve clients throughout Maryland, including Baltimore, Harford County, Anne Arundel County, Howard County, Baltimore County, Cecil County, Carroll County, Montgomery County, PG County, Kent County, and Queen Anne’s County.

This entry was posted on Friday, October 4th, 2019 at 11:53 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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