Img 1188One of my favorite jobs is visiting construction sites. On those visits I enjoy studying our homes from the most minor details we have designed to the overall execution of the project.

Earth moving is always interesting but is especially dramatic when it involves the installation of a geothermal heating and cooling system. Almost all of our designs include energy saving elements but few have the impact of an energy efficient mechanical system.
Conceptually a geothermal heat pump exchanges the earths natural thermal energy to heat or cool a house(or other structure) In practice although the initial cost of installation substantially exceeds a conventional system, the cost of operation is a fraction of that conventional system. With fuel prices at record levels, the payback period shrinks every day.

In this case the piping run to extract the earths’ energy is buried 8 and 4 feet below the surface of the property and is placed in a giant loop. In winter, heat is captured from the soil at approximately 50 degrees while the air temperature can fall below zero. In summer the relatively cool ground temperature can be used to cool the indoor air. Extremely quiet condensers are located in the basement of the home.


Long View

About the Author: James Crisp

James M. Crisp has been an architect for well over 30 years. His architectural firm, Crisp Architects, designs projects throughout New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts. In April of 2007, Taunton Press published 'On the Porch' by James M. Crisp and Sandra Mahoney.

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