About Commercial Geothermal HVAC Systems
The Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, and Capital Heating & Cooling have endorsed Geothermal Heat Pumps as an energy efficient, cost effective, and environmentally friendly way of heating buildings. Geothermal Energy taps into the earth’s natural and free heat source to reliably deliver heat on demand, in every season. A typical geothermal HVAC system is made up of ductwork into the facility, a heat exchanger, and a ground loop system filled with a water solution. During the winter, heat from the ground is absorbed by the water solution as it moves through pipes in the ground. The warmed water is carried into the building where a water-to-air heat pump concentrates the thermal energy and transfers it to air in a conventional ductwork system, which is circulated throughout your building. (A water-to-air heat pump is used with forced air systems, while hydronic radiant heating systems require water-to-water heat pumps.)
Geothermal Heat Pumps can easily be integrated into an existing commercial HVAC system and work great with new construction as well as retrofits of older buildings. The flexible design requirements of geothermal HVAC systems make them a good choice for apartments, restaurants, schools, high-rises, and government buildings – almost any commercial property.
Wisconsin’s Geothermal HVAC Contractor
Business owners and facility maintenance managers are continually being challenged with how to lower costs, and energy bills are no exception. If you knew there was a more cost effective and environmentally friendly way to heat your building or facility, why wouldn’t you? With the rising costs of oil and natural gas, geothermal heat systems are a cost effective alternative to conventional commercial heat systems like gas furnaces, oil furnaces and industrial boiler systems.
Before installing any new heating system, it is necessary to measure the existing energy load of your building; a more energy efficient building means a lower cost of a new geothermal system, utility bills and a more comfortable environment for your customers and employees. The size of your building, heating needs, soil condition and land availability will all influence the correct size for your facility.The size of your commercial geothermal heat pump and the size of ground loop required depend on the heating requirements for your building and are critical to ensuring the efficiency and performance of your new system. Prior to design and installation of your new geothermal HVAC system, Capital Heating & Cooling performs a Manual J Load calculation to determine the correct size equipment needed to efficiently heat your building.
Commercial Energy Audit before Geothermal Installation
In addition to proper sizing, before we design or install your geothermal heat system, Capital Heating & Cooling recommends one of our LEED Certified Energy Consultants conducts an energy audit to identify building improvements that can reduce your energy consumption by as much as 30%. With over a decade of experience in Commercial Energy Services, we develop a set of solutions to address your energy consumption issues that details where you can make the biggest impact on energy consumption for the smallest investment. We will list the feasible energy conservation measures (ECM’s) that should be considered for deployment at your facility. Our holistic approach evaluates your building from all angles including HVAC, Lighting, Building Envelope, and Electrical. Schedule a commercial energy audit now.
The recent demand for geothermal energy in Wisconsin has led to underqualified HVAC contractors trying to capitalize on commercial geothermal HVAC business they’re not qualified to perform. When it comes to installing, repairing and maintaining commercial geothermal HVAC systems, Capital Heating & Cooling leads the way in Wisconsin. With over a decade of high quality commercial geothermal installations under our belt, we’ve earned the reputation as the top Geothermal HVAC contractor in Milwaukee, Waukesha & Racine counties.
Interested in a Commercial Geothermal HVAC System for your building? Contact the Geothermal HVAC experts in Wisconsin for a free on site consultation.
Benefits of Geothermal for Commercial Buildings
A geothermal heat pump can be easily integrated with an existing commercial HVAC system, like conventional forced air or radiant floor heating, or can be installed in a new building. When deciding if a geothermal heat system is right for your building or facility, it pays to weigh the pros and cons of geothermal energy in general and to know the benefits of geothermal for commercial buildings:
- Uses 50-80% less mechanical room space, leaving more room for building design
- No outside equipment or rooftop units to hide from vandalism or thef
- Simultaneously heat different parts of the same buildin
- Very quiet—customers and employees can’t hear the system operatin
- Can be set up in multiple zones, with each zone having an individual room contro
- All electric, which eliminates multiple utility service
- Eliminate boiler and chiller maintenanc
- Ground heat exchanger and pipes have 40+ year life expectanc
Geothermal HVAC Installation Cost
Studies by the Environmental Protection Agency have shown that buildings utilizing geothermal pumps cutback heating costs by up to 70%. So, while the initial investment for a geothermal heat pump system is greater than that of a conventional commercial HVAC system, the energy savings and operating costs of a geothermal system quickly offset the initial investment.
The cost to have a geothermal heat pump professionally sized and installed depends on:
- Soil conditions
- System features
- Financing & Incentives
- Caliber of HVAC Contractor (geothermal experience, workmanship, guarantees)
Analyzing the soil condition, specifically the thermal conductivity and presence of rocks are critical to determining if a geothermal system is feasible at your facility. Rocky soil can interfere with drilling for the looping pipes, making it very challenging to install. One of the most important factors Capital Heating & Cooling’s geothermal specialists look at is the thermal transfer capacity of your soil. If your soil is deemed conducive for heat transfer, you’ll get a higher return on investment because a geothermal heat pump depends on the system’s ability to transfer heat efficiently during the heating process.
Testing and evaluating the conditions of the soil on your lot is the first and most important step in determining the viability of and payback for installing a commercial geothermal heat pump. Consequently, it’s critical to work with a geothermal HVAC contractor who has experience installing these complicated HVAC systems, like Capital Heating & Cooling.
Geothermal System Features
Capital Heating & Cooling will help you decide if an open loop with reinjection, open loop with surface draining, vertical closed loop, or a horizontal closed loop geothermal system is best for your facility. While all types of systems effectively link to the geothermal heat pump, the main difference in functionality is how the systems use the water underground.
An open loop system requires an abundant source of ground water like a pond and directly pumps the water to the heat pump inside your building. Unlike a closed loop system, open loop has a couple different ways to dispose of the water including re-injection into the ground or surface draining. Notably when returning the water back to the earth, there is no pollution generated; the only difference in the water once passed through the geothermal heat pump is a trivial change in temperature.
A closed loop system uses continuous underground loops of piping filled with an anti-freeze-like liquid that helps transfer the ground temperature to the geothermal heat pump. Depending on your lot size, Capital Heating & Cooling can install a closed loop geothermal system either horizontally or vertically; a vertical ground loop is most common because it requires minimal space.
Caliber of Geothermal HVAC Contractor
The caliber of HVAC contractor you hire to design and install your commercial geothermal system will impact the cost. Geothermal HVAC specialists like Capital Heating & Cooling who have over a decade of experience in geothermal heat pump installation, maintenance and repair may cost more than a Milwaukee HVAC company with little to no experience in Geothermal Energy. Due to the complexity of geothermal systems, it’s crucial your equipment is sized and installed properly. When sized and installed correctly geothermal heat pumps deliver more energy per unit consumed than a commercial furnace or boiler. For additional efficiencies, Capital Heating & Cooling suggests a “desuperheater” with your geothermal heat pump to heat the water in your building. In the summer, the heat that is taken from the building and used to heat the water for free. In the winter, water heating costs are reduced by up to 50%.
Tax Credits for Commercial Geothermal Installation
In addition to the utility savings you’ll see from geothermal heat systems, your businesses may qualify for tax credits, which help offset the initial investment.