Best Business Decision for Heating/Cooling Commercial Buildings
The Most Comfortable Return on Your
Each year, more offices, hotels, retail
stores and commercial buildings are discovering how to save
tens of thousands of dollars on heating and cooling costs
through geoexchange. Cost and space savings, greater comfort,
lower maintenance and equipment life cycle costs, individual
zone control and environmental conservation are just a few
benefits of this earth-friendly technology.
has a tremendous future, but it’s as old as the earth
itself. By tapping into the relatively constant temperature
of the earth below the frost line, geoexchange heats and
cools buildings at significant savings — 25% to 40%
savings when compared to traditional systems. It’s
the world’s most efficient way to heat and cool commercial
translate into many income-generating solutions.
Lower heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) costs
could help make office leases more attractive to tenants,
while ensuring maximum earning potential for building owners.
Or money saved could be invested elsewhere in the building.
The smaller space requirements of geoexchange systems could
also produce more room for additional offices, retail operations
or other profit centers.
Geoexchange is ideal, whether you’re
constructing a new building, renovating an existing one
or simply replacing your old HVAC system. So read on. The
more you learn about geoexchange, the more comfortable,
cost-efficient and environmentally conscious your building
Geoexchange is an increasingly popular
choice for commercial buildings. By tapping into the relatively
constant temperature of the earth below the frost line,
geoexchange heats and cools commercial properties at significant
Simplicity of Design
and Operation from the Ground Up
traditional furnaces that burn fuels for heat and
require separate air conditioning or chiller systems, geoexchange
systems transfer heat from one place to another using a
simple process to provide both warmth and cooling. There
are two types of geoexchange systems. Each taps the earth’s
inexhaustible supply of renewable thermal energy, underground
or underwater, where temperatures remain fairly moderate
at 45°-55°F, year-round.
loop” systems use the earth as the heat transfer
medium, employing a mixture of water and non-toxic antifreeze
pumped through a continuous loop of sealed polyethylene
pipes buried beneath the ground, vertically or horizontally.
The mixture never comes in contact with the earth.
loop” systems draw water directly from a well,
lake or pond and pump it through a heat exchanger at the
geothermal heat pump; after which, the water is returned
to the source — just as clean as before.
winter, geoexchange systems bring the earth’s natural
warmth up to a building and then transfer it into each room
or zone via a heat pump. In summer, they work in reverse
to provide air conditioning — absorbing the heat from
inside a building and transferring it to the cooler earth
Higher Efficiency Than
The Environmental Protection
Agency found that, even on a source fuel basis — accounting
for all losses in the fuel cycle including electricity generation
at power plants — geoexchange systems average 40%
greater efficiency than air source heat pumps, 48% greater
efficiency than the best gas furnaces and 75% greater efficiency
than oil furnaces. Today’s best geoexchange systems
outperform the best gas technology, gas heat pumps, by an
average of 36% in heating mode and 43% in cooling mode.
Outstanding Comfort Inside,
Virtually Invisible Outside
Traditional systems have
two major shortcomings. They heat or cool an entire building
at once, with little or no ability to control comfort levels
in individual rooms or zones. Second, they occupy tremendous
space both inside and outside the building.
A geoexchange system creates
an exceptionally comfortable working environment, giving
tenants or building occupants precise temperature control,
by room or by zone. Humidity levels are ideal. There’s
no “blast” of hot air, or “cold blow.”
Temperatures don’t fluctuate, so thermostats don’t
need constant adjustment.
Geoexchange systems can compensate
for morning or afternoon shade, heat buildup or temperature
variance anywhere in a building. Larger areas such as conference
or banquet rooms, auditoriums, indoor pools or fitness centers
can also be controlled by separate heat pumps — so
there’s no need to heat or cool the rest of the building
if these spaces are used only occasionally.
Geoexchange systems are also
much more compact than traditional systems, and out of sight.
Mechanical rooms can be smaller. There are no boilers, smoke
stacks or fuel tanks. No massive rooftop chillers requiring
added structural support, labor and construction costs.
No holes drilled in roofs to secure them either, reducing
the risk of leaks. No above-ground equipment to be seen
at all. In fact, the surface above a ground loop can be
used for parking lots, walking paths or courtyards —
an added plus for communities that want to protect or expand
precious green space. And because geoexchange equipment
is usually underground (wells and piping) and inside (heat
pumps), it’s not exposed to damage from weather or
Added Advantages of a
constant supply of hot water. Another geoexchange
extra is plentiful hot water — an added plus for in-building
cafeterias or restaurants, restrooms and maintenance facilities.
In the summer, hot water is virtually free — produced
by the waste heat extracted from interior air during the
Year-round, geoexchange systems
help make hot water abundant and up to 30% less expensive,
by reducing the amount of electricity or gas consumed by
hot water heaters.
maintenance, fewer interruptions. It’s a fact
that traditional HVAC systems can be complex and costly
to maintain. Oil and gas-fired boilers demand regular cleanings
and component maintenance. Chillers need routine check-ups,
fluid testing and replacement.
Both systems require the
attention of skilled technicians to ensure reliable operation.
And should either system fail, your entire building could
shut down with it.
Geoexchange systems, however,
are remarkably simple and reliable. They consist of standard
heat pumps and ground loop piping. The polyethylene pipes
underground can last up to 50 years.
Routine maintenance consists
primarily of air filter replacement — which can be
done by custodial staff — no on-premises technician
is required. And in the unlikely event that an individual
heat pump, water pump, pipe or valve should fail, that component
can be taken off-line and repaired, without affecting the
rest of the units in the building.
In recent studies by Kentucky
Utilities and Nebraska’s Lincoln Electric System,
operating and maintenance costs of geoexchange systems were
estimated to be 12% to 19% lower than traditional systems
over a 20-year period. ASHRAE manuals estimate up to 50%
savings, with maintenance costs averaging 12¢ to 15¢/sq.
ft. versus 30¢/sq. ft. for conventional systems.
Payback Period. Geoexchange provides an excellent
return on investment for any business that chooses the technology.
New drilling and trenching techniques have also helped bring
loop installation costs down in recent years to where geoexchange
systems are on par with traditional systems. They frequently
pay for themselves in less than 5 years — often, under
2 years. And continue to save thousands in annual heating
and cooling costs for the life of the system.
Why You Should Learn
Geoexchange is the earth’s
most efficient, most environmentally responsible heating
and cooling technology for commercial buildings. For a world
of good reasons. It is unrivaled for economy — comparable
to traditional systems on first-installed costs and vastly
superior over the long term — with energy cost savings
of 25% to 40% annually. It offers precise control of comfort
levels in individual rooms or zones. It affords exciting
new architectural possibilities, inside and out. Its simple
design and equipment ensure years of reliable performance
with much less maintenance than traditional systems, too.
Geoexchange also enables
buildings to demonstrate good environmental stewardship,
by utilizing a limitless supply of natural heating and cooling
energy with no impact on the environment. Or on the world’s
dwindling supply of fossil fuels.
If you would like additional
information on geoexchange heating and cooling for your
commercial property, contact us.