Would you build a home to last for only 30 years?
Most of us are aware that climate change is real and that relying on gas and oil is bad for a variety of reasons. No home built new today should be designed to use gas or oil, it’s a simple fact that any home designed to rely on these forms of energy is really only being designed to last for the short term.
At this point in time, the only homes that can be considered “future protected” are ones that use electrically-based energy systems.
In our view, geothermal heat pump systems are the preferred way to heat and cool any log home.
An electrically-operated heat pump uses ground source heat transferred via either water or coolant through heat exchangers to provide energy to heat and cool a log home. It does this through either forced-air or hydronic (water-based) distribution systems.
You might ask “Why go through the hassle and the cost of installing a geothermal system and not just use an electric furnace?”
While it’s true that an electric furnace is better from a sustainability perspective than any gas or oil furnace, with rising energy costs the operating costs of any home can get expensive without the use of energy efficient systems.
Geothermal systems are so good for a sustainably operated log home because they produce three to four times the energy (kilowatt) compared to the energy to operate the heat pump system. This not only saves money but also a tremendous amount of energy at the same time. It’s a bit of a win-win.
Open or Closed Loop?
There are two main types of geothermal systems, open loop and closed loop.
An open loop system can either use a well or a lake/pond, or a combination of the two. Deep ground water enters the geothermal system and after the energy is extracted by the heat exchanger, the water is put back into either another well or the lake/pond, hence the “open loop”, and the cycle continues.
A closed loop is a “closed” system where the transfer fluid (water or coolant) travels through independent piping either through water wells, horizontal piping, or vertical piping in the ground or within a lake or pond. With the transfer fluid travelling through the closed piping, the heat energy is extracted on the house side and then returned to the ground where more energy can be absorbed and the cycle continues.
There is a great Geothermal 101 article from the Ontario Geothermal Association to explain things further.
Whether the closed loop or open loop applies best in your situation will depend on the ground where you are located. A certified geothermal technician should be able to advised on cost options between the two systems and what options are available to you.
Care to learn more?
Get in touch with us and we’ll help to make your log home dream into a sustainable reality.