Geothermal FAQs

Let us help you Achieve your energy goals

Reach your energy goals with a geothermal heat pump. It provides a greener, more efficient, and cost-effective heating & cooling system. It uses the renewable energy stored in ground at your property rather than burning fossil fuels. But what’s really impressive is the level of comfort it provides. Our systems operate for longer periods at lower speeds, making the home or business consistently comfortable all year round. You have to experience it to believe it.

Geothermal systems work for your home, business, and the environment

In your home, office, school or restaurant, a geothermal system provides a clean, effective way to deliver heat and cooling all year long.

  • Geothermal for your home is a an efficient and clean solution
  • Shared working spaces, offices, schools, and healthcare facilities are well suited for geothermal systems
  • Restaurants, shops and manufacturing all can benefit from geothermal heating and cooling
energy goals- house with geothermal system

Mother Nature's own climate control

No matter what climate you live in, the outdoor temperature throughout the year varies. For some climates that means blazing summers that cool to frigid winters. What many people don’t realize is that the temperature below 20 to 30 feet below ground stays fairly consistent all year (regardless of climate or season). While air temperatures can vary greatly from day to night or winter to summer, the temperature just a few feet below the earth’s surface stays an average 50°-70°F year-round. The ground is a thermal resource that you can harvest with our geothermal installation and provide heating, cooling and hot water for your home or business. This is why geothermal energy is so efficient all year long!

Geothermal by the numbers

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more efficient than conventional HVAC systems
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up to 70% lower bills and $1,416 annual savings
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tax credit for new installations

We help decide what system is right for you

How you harvest the heating and cooling on your property depends on the needs of your home or business and the configuration of your property. Achieve has expertise in all designs for ground heat exchangers (GHE). We customize our designs to match your specific project. The GHE is used to move heat energy to and from your building. It’s the heart of a geothermal system and its biggest advantage over ordinary heat pumps, air conditioners and fossil fuel furnaces. The type of GHE is based on available space, Geology, and installation costs for specific areas. 

Open Loops

An open loop is used where there is an abundant supply of quality well water. The well must have enough capacity to provide adequate flow for both domestic use and the WaterFurnace unit. We usually design our open loop installations as a Standing Column Well. This recycles the groundwater back to the well after it is used by the geothermal heat pump.
energy goals - house with open loop geothermal
energy goals - house with horizontal closed loops

Horizontal Closed Loops

Used where adequate land is available, horizontal closed loops involve installation of heat exchange piping in one or more excavations. High density polyethylene pipes are configured and placed in the excavation(s) prior to backfilling to the desired grade.

Vertical Closed Loops

Vertical closed loops the most common GHE type in our service area and can be used when space is limited. Holes are bored using a drilling rig, and a factory-prepared pair of pipes with a special u-bend fitting is inserted to the bottom. A typical home requires two to five bores with about a 15 to 20 foot separation between the holes.
energy goals - house with vertical closed loop system

Geo FAQ's you need to know

We have installed geothermal heating and cooling systems in New England for many years and we have answered many questions. Please review some common FAQ’s and if you would like to chat specifically about your needs, call us anytime. Let us help you reach your energy goals. We are glad to talk shop!

Unlike ordinary systems, geothermal systems do not burn fossil fuel to generate heat; they simply transfer heat to and from the Earth to provide a more efficient, affordable and environmentally friendly method of heating and cooling. Electric power is used to operate the unit’s fan, compressor and pump.
A geothermal system is three to four times more efficient than the most efficient fossil fuel system. Because geothermal systems do not burn fossil fuels to make heat, they provide three to four units of energy for every one unit used to power the system.
No. Geothermal systems can be virtually maintenance free. When installed properly, the buried ground heat exchanger can last for generations. And the other half of the operation—the unit’s fan, compressor and pump—is housed indoors, protected from the harsh weather conditions. Usually, periodic checks and filter changes are the only required maintenance.

Even though the term heat pump may be unfamiliar, anyone with a refrigerator or an air conditioner has witnessed the operation of a heat pump. All of these machines, rather than making heat, take existing heat and move it from a lower-temperature location to a higher-temperature location. Refrigerators and air conditioners are heat pumps that remove heat from colder interior spaces to warmer exterior spaces for cooling purposes. Heat pumps also move heat from a low-temperature source to a high-temperature space for heating.

An air-source heat pump, for example, extracts heat from outdoor air and pumps it indoors. A geothermal heat pump works the same way, except that its heat source is the warmth of the earth. The process of elevating low-temperature heat to over 100° F and transferring it indoors involves a cycle of evaporation, compression, condensation and expansion. An Ozone-friendly refrigerant is used as the heat-transfer medium which circulates within the heat pump. The cycle starts as the cold liquid refrigerant passes through a heat exchanger (evaporator) and absorbs heat from the low-temperature source (fluid from the ground loop). The refrigerant evaporates as heat is absorbed.

The gaseous refrigerant then passes through a compressor where the refrigerant is pressurized, raising its temperature. The hot gas then circulates through a refrigerant-to-air heat exchange coil where heat is transfered and pumped into the building at about 100° F . When it loses the heat, the refrigerant changes back to a liquid. The liquid is cooled as it passes through an expansion valve and begins the process again. To work as an air conditioner, the system’s flow is reversed.

All heating and cooling systems have a rated efficiency from an independent certification board. Fossil fuel furnaces have a percentage efficiency rating. Natural gas, propane and fuel oil furnaces have efficiency ratings based on laboratory conditions. To get an accurate installed efficiency rating, factors such as flue gas heat losses and cycling losses caused by oversizing, blower fan electrical usage, etc., must be included.

Geothermal heat pumps, as well as all other types of heat pumps, have efficiencies rated according to their coefficient of performance or COP. It’s a scientific way of determining how much energy the system produces versus how much it uses. Most geothermal heat pump systems have COPs of 3.1-5.3 depending on the model and installation conditions. That means for every unit of energy used to power the system, 3.1-5.3 units are supplied as heat. Where a fossil fuel furnace may be 78-90 percent efficient, a geothermal heat pump is about 400 percent efficient. Some geothermal heat pump manufacturers and electric utilities use computers to accurately determine the operating efficiency of a system for your home or building.

A closed loop system uses a continuous loop of buried high-density polyethylene pipe. The pipe is connected to the indoor heat pump to form a sealed, underground loop through which an environmentally friendly antifreeze-and-water solution is circulated. A closed loop system constantly re-circulates its heat-transferring solution in pressurized pipe, unlike an open loop system that consumes water from a well. Most closed loops are trenched horizontally in areas adjacent to the building. However, where adequate land is not available, loops are vertically bored. Any area near a home or business with appropriate soil conditions and adequate square footage will work.
One thing that makes a geothermal heat pump so versatile is its ability to be a heating and cooling system in one. With a simple flick of a switch on your indoor thermostat, you can change from one mode to another. In the cooling mode, a geothermal heat pump takes heat from indoors and transfers it to the cooler earth through either groundwater or an underground earth loop system. In the heating mode, the process is reversed.

Geothermal systems work with nature, not against it. They emit no Carbon Dioxide, Nitrous Oxide, or Sulfur Dioxide which have been linked to global warming, acid rain and other environmental hazards. The entire WaterFurnace product line uses R-410A, a performance-enhancing refrigerant that will not harm the earth’s ozone layer.