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Posts Tagged ‘Geothermal’

How Can I Find Out if My Home Is Suited for Geothermal Heating and Cooling?

Monday, May 16th, 2016

Geothermal energy is a rapidly growing field in the United States. Today it’s more widely available for residential use than ever before. However, not every heating and cooling contractor offers the benefits of geothermal heat pumps to their customers. But we do!

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How Does a Geothermal System Provide Air Conditioning for a Home?

Monday, April 18th, 2016

When people think of using geothermal power for home comfort, they usually first think of it as supplying warmth for the winter. After all, thermal means “heat.” So it often comes as a surprise for homeowners to learn that a geothermal installation is also capable of working as an air conditioner. And not just any air conditioner, but one that’s more energy efficient and effective than a standard air-source air conditioning system.

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Common Geothermal Repairs

Friday, January 30th, 2015

Geothermal systems are incredibly durable; after all, they have an average lifespan of 25-50 years. As these systems grow in popularity, their uniqueness can make homeowners wonder: what kind of repairs are common with this system? The concern is natural, as the buried ground loop can create images of challenging repair issues. Rest assured that geothermal systems tend to have fewer instances of repairs compared to other more traditional heating systems, and when you do have a need for geothermal repair, you can call the experts at Comfort Flow Heating to meet all your geothermal system repair needs.

Heat Pump Issues

Geothermal systems use heat pumps to facilitate the transfer of heat. During the winter, the heat is moved to your indoors and during the summer the heat is moved to ground or water where the loop resides. Common heat pump issues are anti-freeze leaks, problems with the compressor or condenser and age.


Many geothermal systems use water to help facilitate the transfer of heat. Water contains minerals, and these minerals can create build-up on the inside of the ground loop called scale. Scale is made of mineral deposits that tend to be high in calcium. If there’s enough scale build-up, the flow of the anti-freeze in the ground loop can be restricted. A simple acid flush performed by a professional can clear scale away and restore the flow inside the ground loop.

Issue with the Manifold

The pipes of a ground loop system need a single connection point that carries the fluid into the heat pump that resides in your home; this component is called the manifold. The manifold typically has several valves that correlate to the pipes connecting to it, and sometimes problems can develop with a valve, including scale build-up.

Geothermal systems should always be repaired by those who have experience with the systems because they are not like traditional heating systems, even with the use of heat pumps. The specialists at Comfort Flow Heating have the expertise and training you need for your geothermal system in Eugene, OR, so call us today.

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Does a Geothermal System Need Winter Maintenance?

Friday, December 12th, 2014

Geothermal systems can be a bit of a mystery for homeowners who don’t have a lot of HVAC knowledge or experience. This is even true of people who actually have geothermal systems installed in their homes. Not to worry, though, we’re here to answer all of your questions. This week, we’re tackling the subject of winter maintenance with regard to geothermal systems.

Geothermal Maintenance

Geothermal systems do need maintenance at least once or twice a year, just like any other heater. With specific regard to winter maintenance, however, that depends on circumstances. Most other heating systems have their recommended maintenance during the fall season. This is because the best time to conduct maintenance on any system is right before you plan on using it a lot. Maintenance on your heating system right before winter ensures that it will be able to handle the increased strain of frequent use.

In that sense, winter maintenance on your geothermal system is a good idea. You really don’t want your geothermal heater breaking down in the middle of winter. Demand for HVAC repairs tends to rise during the cold season, for obvious reasons. This could lead to a delay of a few days for HVAC service, which means you would be stuck without heat during the coldest months of the year.

As for specific repair needs, geothermal systems are more low-maintenance than most systems. The water in the underground loop can occasionally freeze, but only if the loop isn’t buried far enough down. The actual depth that the loop needs to be buried at depends largely on the region your home is in. In some colder areas of the country, loops can freeze and stop working as deep as 15ft below the surface.

Other than that occasional concern, geothermal systems are much the same as any other heat pump. As long as the reversing valve, refrigerant line, and coils are working, you should have nothing to worry about.

If you would like to schedule maintenance for your geothermal system in Eugene, call Comfort Flow Heating.

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Why Would I Consider a Geothermal System?

Friday, August 15th, 2014

A geothermal heat pump takes up a large amount of space compared to a standard (or “air-source”) heat pump or the combination of an air conditioner and a heater, such as a furnace or boiler. Geothermal systems also require a longer period for installation and have higher upfront costs. So why should you consider going with a geothermal heat pump rather than one of the numerous alternatives?

There are many good reasons that a geothermal system should be on your shopping list for a new comfort system. The benefits that these appliances provide help them pay back their initial costs many times over, both in savings and in dependable comfort. To find out more about the possibilities for geothermal installation in Eugene, OR, call the professionals at Comfort Flow Heating. We’ve helped customers find the best way to heat and cool their homes since 1961.

The Advantages of Going Geothermal

  • Dependable performance: Standard heat pumps have a major drawback that sometimes prevents homeowners from installing them: they suffer from efficiency loss during extreme weather conditions. The colder it is outside, the harder it is for a heat pump to extract heat from the outdoors and bring it indoors. The hotter it is outside, the less efficiently a heat pump can release heat to the outdoors. But geothermal heat pumps use the steady temperature 10 feet below the frost line to extract and deposit heat. At this depth, the earth remains around 55 degrees no matter the temperature above ground—you won’t have to worry about your heat pump struggling during any time of the year.
  • Energy savings: Using the steady temperature of the earth also means that a geothermal heat pump will need to use less power on average than an air source heat pump. The U.S. Department of Energy has discovered through testing that ground source heat pumps can work 3 to 6 times more energy-efficiently than other types of heating and cooling systems, and they will pay for their installation costs in 5–10 years.
  • Longevity: You will have many years after the payback period to enjoy the savings of a geothermal heat pump, because few comfort systems have such long lives. The indoor heat pump elements of a geothermal system will last 20+ years (with proper maintenance), while the underground loops, the most expensive part to install, can last for 50+ years. Chances are that you won’t ever need to install another comfort system once you have a geothermal heat pump working for your home.

Geothermal heat pumps won’t work ideally for every property: they require the right amount of space, soil conditions, and temperatures. Call up our specialists in geothermal heating and air conditioning installation in Eugene, OR today to arrange for an appointment to survey your property. Comfort Flow Heating will find out if geothermal is your best choice, and then handle the installation quickly and effectively so you can benefit from decades of efficient and reliable heating and cooling.

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What Is Involved in Replacing a Geothermal System

Monday, March 17th, 2014

Although geothermal systems have an upfront cost steeper than most other home comfort systems, they have such high energy efficiency and longevity that they will provide many years of operation after their payback period to save homeowners money. The EPA estimates that the underground system of coils can last more than 50 years. Contrary to rumor, it takes almost a generation for the loops in the earth to wear out.

However, not all components of a geothermal heat pump has this same half-century of endurance. At some point, any system will require replacements—in part, or in whole. We’ll look at what this entails in this post so you can know what to expect from a geothermal system on your property.

For more information, or to schedule service for cooling and heating in Salem, OR, contact Comfort Flow Heating and talk to our geothermal specialists.

When geothermal heat pumps need replacements

Thankfully, when one section of a geothermal heat pump malfunctions to the point where repairs will no longer do any good, you don’t need to dig up the whole system and remove the refrigerant lines to put in a replacement. Usually, the indoor heat pump will need replacement 30 years before the coils in the ground do. This replacement is not much different from replacing a standard air-source heat pump and costs approximately the same. Professional installers will make sure that the new heat pump unit connects to the underground components and also to the ductwork.

What about when those geothermal loops in the earth finally need replacement? This is something you may encounter when you inherit a geothermal system with your home. New loops will need to be put in, but the job is far easier than the original one and costs less as well. Digging the trenches for the loops is the most costly part of the job, so with those trenches already in place it takes less time and money to put in new loops. For a job that usually only needs to be done twice a century, it is remarkably fast and easy to do.

Thinking of going geothermal?

If you don’t already have a geothermal system installed on your property, we hope that the above information will make you see that choosing to go with a geothermal heat pump is indeed a long-term investment that will not need major replacements for at least fifty years. You can expect to pay for a standard heat pump replacement in about 20 years, but by that time you should be saving so much on your heating bill that the replacement pump will practically buy itself.

Contact Comfort Flow Heating today and find out more about how you can bring geothermal cooling and heating to a Salem, OR home.

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Are You Ready for Geothermal Air Conditioning in Springfield, OR?

Friday, August 9th, 2013

Do you know what geothermal is? As you might have guessed, it has to do something with the thermal energy stored below the surface of the Earth, but it’s not related to lava or hot magma. Rather, it refers to the energy stored by the energy of the sun’s radiation. Unlike temperatures above the surface that fluctuate radically throughout the year, the temperature of the earth just below the surface remains relatively static and moderate throughout the year. Recent advances in geothermal technology have brought the ability to capture this moderating influence into the average home. But many homeowners have unanswered questions about what geothermal is and whether they could benefit from it. You need to find a reputable contractor who can make sure that your property can make the most of geothermal–it may not be right for everyone. Call the air conditioning experts at Comfort Flow Heating today for more information regarding your geothermal air conditioning options in Springfield, OR.

A geothermal setup is basically a ground-source heat pump with underground piping and ductwork. A coolant circulates through a system of underground piping, whether it’s installed in a shallow, horizontal bed, or in deep vertical wells. This piping connects to a fairly standard heat pump HVAC system with ducts extending throughout your home. It tends to be highly effective for those looking for a temperature solution whose energy source is renewable and sustainable. It uses the moderate temperature of the earth to cool your warm indoor air during the summer months, and it uses that same moderate temperature to heat your home during the winter. Because it uses very little electricity, geothermal tends to be highly energy efficient.

The decision to install geothermal in your home must be made in consultation with a professional. Your property will need to be looked at in order to assess whether it could be a worthwhile candidate for geothermal. The installation process itself involves excavation where you underground piping will go, and may require special equipment if you opt for vertical wells. However, the long-term energy savings often offset the higher upfront cost.

Call Comfort Flow Heating today for all of your air conditioning needs in Springfield, OR, including geothermal installation and repair.

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Springfield OR Air Conditioning: Are You Ready for Geothermal?

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Spring is a great time to take stock of your current air conditioning system. Whether your AC is old, requires frequent repairs, or simply does not perform as well as you think it should, then you may be looking into other options. Depending the location and layout of your home, you might like to consider a geothermal system, particularly if you need an eco-friendly and highly energy efficient alternative. Geothermal systems use the moderate temperature of the ground beneath your feet to provide cooling in the summer and heating in the winter. For superior Springfield OR air conditioning, including geothermal installation, call the experts at Comfort Flow Heating today!

While you may heard the term, you still may be wondering how geothermal works. Basically, a geothermal uses a heat pump attached to a set of underground pipes that circulate water or a water-coolant mixture. While setups may vary from home to home, the basic parts are the same. The underground piping is typically made from a high-density polyethylene (HDPE). This “earth loop” is installed in a relatively shallow, horizontal bed of piping, or, alternatively, in a set of deep vertical wells, with piping at a depth of nearly 100 feet. The choice between these two depends on the soil density and composition of your ground, as well as the location of your home on the property.

The geothermal unit itself is not unlike a heat pump, which pressurizes and circulates the coolant through the loop underground. During the cooling season, the air extracted from the inside of your home is cooled by the moderate temperature of the earth-cooled water or water-coolant mixture. The cool air is then distributed throughout the ductwork. Like a heat pump, the energy efficiency of its operation is excellent; and, like a heat pump, it can reverse the cooling process by using the moderate temperature of the earth to heat your home during the cold months.

Are you ready for geothermal? Speak to a professional about whether your home and property would work well with a geothermal system. For more information about your Springfield, OR air conditioning options, call Comfort Flow Heating today!

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Springfield OR Geothermal: What are the Cost Benefits of Installing a New Geothermal System

Monday, February 25th, 2013

Homeowners in Springfield, OR are always looking for new, more efficient ways to keep their homes comfortable. If you are interested in a more environmentally friendly, efficient and very effective way to keep your home comfortable throughout the year, call the heating and cooling experts at Comfort Flow Heating. Our professional Springfield OR heating technicians have the information and advice you need to decide if a geothermal heating and cooling system is right for you. Contact us today for more information about the many benefits of a geothermal installation in Springfield, OR.

While the environmental benefits of geothermal technology are commendable, the cost benefits are what many homeowners are especially interested in. A geothermal heating and cooling system uses a heat pump in order to keep your home comfortable. Heat pumps, unlike traditional heating and cooling systems, do not consume fuel in order to heat and cool your home. Rather, they transfer preexisting heat from the ground in order to do so. During the heating season heat is transferred into your home to keep it warm. In the summer months heat is transferred out of your house to keep it cool and comfortable.

While heat pumps in general are renowned for their efficiency, geothermal heating and cooling systems are truly in a class of their own. Because they are buried beneath the ground or submerged under water, geothermal loop systems draw heat from a pretty constant environment. They are not subject to the fluctuations in temperature that air source heat pumps are. This consistency means that you can both rely on the steady performance of your geothermal system and that you will enjoy pretty constant efficiency. Your geothermal system will not require more energy to perform its function on cold winter nights or hot summer days.

There is no way to put an exact dollar amount on the cost benefits of a geothermal heat pump installation. You can be sure, though, that a geothermal system will help you heat and cool your home in a more efficient manner. Do not be deterred by the initial investment. With a highly efficient performance you can offset that upfront cost in long term energy savings. Contact Comfort Flow heating today to schedule geothermal installation in Springfield.

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Springfield OR Geothermal Tip: When to Call for a Geothermal Repair

Monday, February 18th, 2013

Comfort Flow Heating can help you out with all your Springfield, Oregon geothermal needs, including maintenance and repair. We’ve put together a few of the more common repair needs for geothermal systems. Call us if you are having any type of problem with your geothermal heat pump system.

Geothermal Loop Field Repair

The loop fields that are buried either horizontally or vertically under the ground outside your home contain a mixture of water and refrigerant. They can develop leaks over time, or because of extreme weather conditions. Improper installation is another potential cause of leaks in the underground pipes for your geothermal heating and cooling system. If you are having trouble maintaining comfortable temperatures, or you notice a lack of hot water with geothermal water heaters, there could be a leak in the loop field system. Call a geothermal repair technician if you are having these issues.

Geothermal Heat Pump Repair

If you are having trouble with your geothermal heat pump, there could be any number of causes. First, check the settings and the thermostat. Make sure your heat pump is in the heating mode and that your thermostat is on the temperature that you want your home.  Call a Springfield OR heating technician or check your owner’s manual if you aren’t sure how to operate your heat pump or thermostat.

Routine Maintenance and Changing Air Filters

Most heat pump systems, including geothermal heat pumps, will require air filter changes at least once a month. You may have a removable one that can be cleaned and replaced, so be sure to check it often. A dirty air filter can restrict the airflow and reduce the efficiency and the heating or cooling output. You may also need a routine tune-up, so schedule one as soon as you can if you haven’t done so.

Call the Springfield, OR geothermal specialists at Comfort Flow Heating for all your geothermal repair and maintenance needs. Contact Comfort Flow Heating today!

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