Your New Geothermal Installation: The Science Of SizingWhen you’ve made the decision to heat and cool your home with a geothermal heat pump, you’re on the path to lower cooling and heating costs for decades to come. However efficient these systems are, though, a geothermal installation won’t give you the benefits you’re looking for unless the components of the system are properly sized. A system that’s too small will have to work harder to condition your space, and one that’s too large won’t remove enough humidity in the summer. 

Sizing a geothermal system involves two steps. First the HVAC contractor has to determine the size you need to cool and heat your home. Heat pumps are manufactured in tons, and each ton has 12,000 Btus of conditioning capacity. Contractors use Manual J to calculate the cooling and heating load of your home. It uses these factors to arrive at the right size:

  • Cubic feet you need to condition
  • Insulation levels in your home
  • Number of windows and their efficiency
  • Heat-producing appliances and your lighting type
  • Number of home occupants
  • Preferred temperatures
  • Local climate characteristics
  • Outdoor landscaping
Once the HVAC contractor has determined the right tonnage for your heat pump, the next step in geothermal installation is to size the loop field you’ll need in your yard. This step involves getting soil samples and having them analyzed. Different soil characteristics affect how well the loops lose or take heat from the ground. Sandy soils do not retain heat well, and requires a larger loop field. Ideal soils for geothermal systems are rocky and clay soils because they retain the most energy.

The amount of soil moisture also affects the size of the loop field. Dry soil loses heat quickly and requires a larger loop field in our region because our climate typically requires more heating than cooling.

If you’d like to learn more about geothermal installation, contact Mowery Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing. We have provided quality HVAC services for the Indianapolis area for more than 40 years.Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 


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