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Geothermal Cooling & Heating: Save Cash & the Planet Too!

geothermal heating and cooling

If you had to guesstimate how much of your monthly energy bill goes to cooling and heating your home, what would you guess? 25 percent? 50 percent?

How about 70 percent? (Yes, you read that right.) For most Canadian homeowners, a full 70 percent of their monthly energy expense goes towards keeping their home cool or warm, depending on the season.

This also holds true whether the energy source is electric, gas, propane, oil, or another type. We live on a planet with ever-dwindling natural resources, so energy of all types is at a premium.

But there is one exception—solar energy. Solar energy is economical, widely available, reliable, and totally renewable and sustainable. Knowing this, if you found out you could heat and cool your home using solar power—saving yourself cash and preserving the planet for your children—would you make the switch?

Read on to find out what you need to know to decide.

Geothermal is the Energy Source Our Planet Ordered

There has never been a better time than now for the HVAC industry to roll out a geothermal energy-based heating and cooling system. Called the Canadian GeoExchange Coalition, or CGC for short, this system harnesses indirect solar energy stored in the earth and water surrounding your home or workplace.

This energy has a zero-carbon footprint and requires no hazardous materials or processes to harness power. It is also cheaper than any other energy source currently available. Plus, since the sun isn't scheduled to burn out for another 5 billion years or so, there is no danger of not having enough energy for everyone who wants to use it.

How Geothermal Cooling & Heating Works

Did you know that, regardless of what your window thermometer reads, the ground outside maintains a consistent temperature of 55°F to 70°F year-round? This means that whether it is 20°F or 120°F, the ground right outside will stay between 55°F and 70°F.

This also means that conditions remain ripe all year to harness geothermal energy right out of the ground your home or business sits upon. Using a series of underground pipes, geothermal energy can be generated to keep your home as warm or cool as you like.

But this isn't all the good news geothermal energy has to share. Consider these facts:

  • For every $1 of electrical energy you use, you could be generating $4 worth of free solar (geothermal) energy.

  • The energy creation and conduction system is housed entirely underground in the underground piping system, so you won't have to hear any noise or endure the sight of any unattractive machinery around your home or workplace.

  • With the energy savings you will generate by switching to geothermal heating and cooling, you can potentially fully recoup your initial investment in the first five years.

  • Each single geothermal heating and cooling system installed offers the planet the equivalent of planting 750 new trees or taking two emissions-producing, fossil fuels-burning vehicles off the roadways.

  • The safety factor of geothermal heating and cooling can't be beat. Geothermal energy production requires no combustion and produces no emissions or fumes.

  • A geothermal heating and cooling system cleans your outdoor and indoor air simultaneously, removing common allergens as it does.

  • Geothermal systems installed under the auspices of the Canadian GeoExchange Coalition guarantee the most reliable, cost-effective, efficient and sustainable heating and cooling available on the market today.

While We're On the Subject of Geothermal....

Here at Gravenhurst Plumbing, Heating & Electric, we are so proud to announce that we have just become the very FIRST firm qualified to offer geothermal heating and cooling under the Canadian GeoExchange Coalition!

As an accredited and certified provider of geothermal based systems, we operate under the code of the CGC itself:

  • The systems we provide deliver the promised benefits.

  • The systems and installation practices are safe.

  • The designers, contractors, and installers are competent and reliable.

  • Full legal and regulatory compliance is guaranteed.

Participation in the CGC's process of accreditation and certification is 100 percent voluntary. We chose to go through the CGC's training program because we wholeheartedly believe that our planet's future and thus our children's future deserve our best effort to conserve natural resources and switch to sustainable energy sources.

We believe that by becoming trained, accredited, and certified as geothermal heating and cooling providers and installers, we can serve you even better, save you more on your energy bills, and provide you with systems that will be safe and reliable to use in your home and workplace over the long term.

P.S. Many of our customers are also able to qualify for energy tax credits by making the switch to geothermal heating and cooling.

What is it Like to Make the Switch to Geothermal?

Geothermal heating and cooling equipment is attractive and compact, and the majority of the system is housed under the ground outside. The main control box is small and nearly silent, and the entire system is Energy Star-certified, so you won't find a more energy-efficient option anywhere.

You control your geothermal unit through an internet-based, cloud-based software program called Symphony that continuously monitors the entire system, from each component's functioning to a historical look at energy use to ongoing cash-saving thermostat adjustments. With Symphony's help, you can monitor, control, and tweak your geothermal heating and cooling system as desired.

Contact Gravenhurst Plumbing, Heating & Electric to Learn More

Gravenhurst Plumbing, Heating & Electric first opened the doors of our family-owned and operated business in 1945. In the ensuing decades, we have participated in many new developments in the energy and plumbing industries.

So whether you need maintenance for your traditional home or office plumbing and HVAC system or you are interested in transitioning to a geothermal-based system, we are honored to participate! Contact us by phone at 877.885.3403 or online.

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6 Tips to Fix Your Home if It Doesn't Cool Evenly

Home cooling unevenly

If there is one fact most Canadians can agree on, it is this: there are never enough warm summer days in Canada to enjoy each year. However, summer is less enjoyable in some households than in others. The reason for this is simple: uneven cooling.

It is easy to tell if your home is not cooling evenly and equally in each room: Look to see which room everyone crowds into on extra-hot days.

In this post, learn 6 tips to fix your home's uneven cooling issues before the short, intense Canadian summer arrives in earnest!

Tip #1: Check that your HVAC unit's thermostat is set to "on"

For most air conditioning units today, there are two options on the thermostat for using the inbuilt fan.

  • Auto. The auto setting will cycle on the unit's fan when the thermostat detects a need to cool the air. Once the air reaches the right temperature, the cooling and fan will power off again.

  • On. The on setting will leave the fan on constantly, both when the air is being cooled and when it is not.

The "on" setting is better for overall home air circulation. It can remedy minor issues with uneven cooling, especially if you live in a split-level house.

NOTE: Be aware that using the fan more frequently may add a few dollars to your energy bill.

Tip #2: Clean and maintain your air ducts

If you just recently bought a home with an air duct system or you've owned your home for some time but can't recall ever doing air duct maintenance, now is a good time to start!

Over time, air ducts can get clogged with dirt, dust, debris, and other matter. The worse the buildup becomes inside the ducts, the harder your air conditioner has to work to push cool air through. If air vents get blocked by built-up debris, a common side effect is hotter rooms in some areas of your house.

If this is the case in your home, there are two key maintenance tasks that can help:

  • Cleaning out your air duct system. With this service, all of that built-up debris is removed, along with particulate matter and allergens that can cause respiratory irritation. You’ll have fresher and cleaner indoor air and a home that cools more evenly from room to room.

  • Sealing and insulating your air ducts. Sealing up air leaks and placing extra insulation around your air ducts can keep more of the cool air in and all of that hot air out. For rooms with major leak issues, this could potentially be a total fix for uneven cooling in your home.

Tip #3: Install a zone system that links to your A/C

With a zone system, temperature sensors are installed in different areas, or zones, of your home. This permits you to more precisely control the air temperature in each of those zones.

So for instance, if your bathroom is always freezing and you boil in your bedroom, a zone system can adjust the temperature settings for each of those areas so the cooling is more comfortable and even.

And if you have a split-level home and notice the upstairs rooms becoming hotter as the warm air rises in summer, you can use a zone system to even out the ambient air temperature for each level of your home.

NOTE: While a zone system can represent an additional cost investment to implement, the potential cost savings can more than offset the investment you make.

Tip #4: Get an A/C unit that suits your house size

You may find that the air conditioning unit that was installed originally has become unable to handle the cooling tasks required of it. This is a frequent issue when homeowners decide to add onto an existing property.

As well, older model HVAC units lack the inbuilt energy efficiency features of their newer Energy Star-certified cousins. If your A/C unit is more than a decade old, lacks a programmable thermostat, is coping with an add-on to your existing home, or simply isn't cutting it for some other reason, you may find you can actually save funds by upgrading to an Energy Star-certified unit.

NOTE: Energy Star monthly efficiency savings are estimated to range upwards of 15 to 20 percent per month (or around $115 per year).

Tip #5 Tweak the placement of your air vents

When was the last time you checked out your air vents in each room? The air vents are the openings (often placed on the ceilings or walls in each room) that allow the air ducts to deliver temperature-controlled air to that room.

If someone has partially or completely closed the air vent in a certain room, or if it has become covered by dust or blocked by furnishings, cleaning and re-opening that vent may be all that is needed to even out air flow to that room!

Tip #6: Change out your air filters

While this may not remedy uneven air flow throughout your home, it can certainly help, particularly if you have multiple air filters for your HVAC unit.

When the air filter gets filled up with debris, you can know two things for sure:

  • The air filter is doing its job well.

  • Your A/C unit is working harder than it should to cool your home.

Experts recommend changing the air filter(s) every 30 days for the best air circulation and most even cooling in the home.

Questions? Need Help?

Contact Gravenhurst Plumbing by phone at 705.687.3402 or online here. Our experts can help diagnose and repair any cooling issues you might be experiencing. If you are looking for for help in the Sudbury Region please contact Campeau Heating for repair and cooling issues. 

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