In 2023 Weston & Sampson acquired LBR Geothermal Services and Supplies LLC d/b/a DRAGIN Geothermal Services. We look forward to the additional services we are now able to provide with geothermal systems, and to helping our clients toward a more sustainable future as Weston & Sampson CMR, Inc. d/b/a DRAGIN Geothermal Services.
DRAGIN Geothermal Services, located in New Hampshire, has provided geothermal services on the east coast throughout New England (New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont and Maine), New York and New Jersey.
When problems run deep, our solutions run deeper!
Geothermal heating, also referred to as green heat, earth-coupled heat, earth connection, geoexchange, geothermal heat pumps (GHPs), ground-source heat pumps (GSHPs), and water-source heat pumps, is an increasingly popular choice for heating and cooling but it’s as old as the earth itself.
Geothermal systems are the worlds most advanced and most cost-efficient heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems. EPA has confirmed geothermal systems operate at 75% greater efficiency than oil furnaces, 48% greater efficiency than gas furnaces and 40% greater efficiency than air source heat pumps.
The way it works is simple. In winter, warmth is drawn from the earth through a series of pipes, called a loop, installed beneath the ground. A water solution circulating through this piping loop carries the earth’s natural warmth to a heat pump inside the home. The heat pump concentrates the earth’s thermal energy and transfers it to air circulated through interior ductwork to fill every space in your home.
In the summer, the process is reversed; heat is extracted from air inside the house and transferred to the biggest “heat sink” of all – Mother Earth – by way of the ground loop piping. The geothermal system also uses some of the heat extracted from the interior in the summer to provide free hot water.
There are many reasons why geothermal is your best choice for home heating and cooling. Chief among them: MINIMAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT. Geothermal systems significantly reduce our dependence on the earth’s finite supply of fossil fuels and help keep our blue skies blue.
In addition, oil and gas systems require fuel for heating and a separate air conditioning system for cooling. Geothermal provides both in one system.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
There is a lot of information to absorb about the geothermal technology, especially if you’re just now learning of it. The following questions and answers breakout specific areas of interest and should give you a great overall understanding! Once you’ve become acquainted with its background please give LBR Geothermal Services a call to discuss how geothermal can work for you. And start saving you money!
The Geoexchange Heat Pump Consortium (GHPC) is a nonprofit organization working to raise awareness and increase the use of geothermal technology throughout the United States. Here they provide answers the most frequently asked questions about geothermal technology.
What is geothermal technology?
Geothermal technology uses the earth’s renewable energy, just below the surface, to heat or cool a home or other building, and to help provide hot water. It’s sometimes referred to as a geothermal heat pump, a ground source heat pump, geoexchange, earth-coupled heat or green heat. No matter what you call it, geothermal systems are the best choice you can make for both your pocketbook and your planet. In fact, these systems are so good that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has said they are, “the most energy-efficient, environmentally clean, and cost-effective space conditioning systems available today.”
How does it work?
A few feet beneath the surface, the earth’s temperature remains fairly constant, ranging from 45º or so in northern latitudes to about 70ºF in the deep south-year round. Geothermal takes advantage of this constant temperature to provide extremely efficient heating and cooling.
In winter, water or a water solution circulating through pipes buried in the ground absorbs heat from the earth and carries it into the home. The geothermal system inside the home uses a heat pump to concentrate the earth’s thermal energy and then to transfer it to air circulated through standard ductwork to fill the interior space with warmth.
In the summer, the process is reversed: heat is extracted from the air in the house and transferred through the heat pump to the ground loop piping. The water solution in the ground loop then carries the excess heat back to the earth. The only external energy needed for geothermal is the small amount of electricity needed to operate the ground loop pump and fan.
Is geothermal new?
The basic technology has been around for more than 30 years, and many homeowners and businesses have been enjoying the benefits of geothermal for much of that time.
In recent years, though, many improvements have been made in the materials used, the installation methods, and the efficiencies of the compressors, pumps and other equipment.
What are the major benefits to the home/building owner?
Owners enjoy lower utility bills (25% to 70% lower than with conventional systems), lower maintenance, and higher levels of comfort, year-round. They also have the peace of mind of knowing they’re being environmentally responsible.
Since a geothermal system burns no fossil fuel to produce heat, it generates far fewer greenhouse gas emissions than a conventional furnace, and completely eliminates a potential source of poisonous carbon monoxide within the home or building. Even factoring in its share of the emissions from the power plant that produces electricity to operate the geothermal system, total emissions are far lower than for conventional systems.
GEOTHERMAL IS GREEN
Would you like to have a heating and cooling system in your home or business that can:
- Save energy
- Slash utility bills
- Drastically reduce hot water costs
- Cut greenhouse gas emissions
- Rid your yard of unsightly equipment and
- Reduce annual maintenance costs
…all while providing you year round comfort?
Then Go Green. Go Geothermal.
Geothermal systems are a cost effective, energy efficient and environmentally friendly way of heating and cooling buildings. Both the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have endorsed the technology. Geothermal systems deliver reliable quality air-conditioning and heating, on demand, in every season.
How Do Geothermal Systems Work?
Geothermal systems are electrically powered systems that tap the stored energy of the greatest solar collector in existence: the Earth. These systems use the earth’s relatively constant temperature to provide heating, cooling, and hot water for homes and commercial buildings.
While many parts of the country experience seasonal temperature extremes – from scorching heat in the summer to sub-zero cold in the winter – a few feet below the earth’s surface the ground remains at a relatively constant temperature. Depending on latitude, ground temperatures range from 45°F (7°C) to 75°F (21°C). Like a cave, this ground temperature is warmer than the air above it during the winter and cooler than the air in the summer. A geothermal heat pump takes advantage of this by exchanging heat with the earth through a ground heat exchanger.
As with any heat pump, geothermal and water-source heat pumps are able to heat, cool, and, if so equipped, supply the house with hot water. Some models of geothermal systems are available with two-speed compressors and variable fans for more comfort and energy savings. Relative to air-source heat pumps, they are quieter, last longer, need little maintenance, and do not depend on the temperature of the outside air.
Geothermal equipment is also compact and, except for the loop piping buried in the ground, is located inside, tucked neatly in basement, attic, closet, or crawl space.
GEOTHERMAL SYSTEM TYPES
A geothermal system includes three principal components:
- Geothermal earth connection
- Geothermal heat pump subsystem
- Geothermal heat distribution system
Using the Earth as a heat source/sink, pipe or loops are installed in well(s) near the building to be conditioned. Water (water or a mixture of water and antifreeze in a closed loop system) is circulated and absorbs heat from, or relinquishes heat to, the surrounding soil, depending on whether the ambient air is colder or warmer than the soil.
For heating, a geothermal heat pump removes the heat from the fluid in the earth connection, concentrates it, and then transfers it to the building. For cooling, the process is reversed.
Conventional ductwork is generally used to distribute heated or cooled air from the geothermal heat pump throughout the building.
Residential Hot Water
In addition to space conditioning, geothermal heat pumps can be used to provide domestic hot water when the system is operating. Many residential systems are now equipped with desuperheaters that transfer excess heat from the geothermal heat pump’s compressor to the house’s hot water tank. A desuperheater provides no hot water during the spring and fall when the geothermal heat pump system is not operating; however, because the geothermal heat pump is so much more efficient than other means of water heating, manufacturers are beginning to offer “full demand” systems that use a separate heat exchanger to meet all of a household’s hot water needs. These units cost-effectively provide hot water as quickly as any competing system.
There are four basic types of ground pipe/loop systems. Three of these—vertical, horizontal and pond/lake—are closed-loop systems. The fourth type of system is the open-loop option – standing column wells or reverse return wells. Which one of these is best depends on the climate, soil conditions, available land, and local installation costs at the site. All of these approaches can be used for residential and commercial building applications.
Standing Column Wells
Residential parcel sizes in New England are not as sizable as in other parts of the country. And waterfront parcels tend to be even smaller. Property size coupled with New England Geology makes the standing column well the best choice for most residential projects.
We have extensive experience in all vertical types of geothermal wells.
Comfort is constant in a home with geothermal technology
- Unsurpassed indoor air quality.
- Ideal humidity levels.
- As quiet to operate as a refrigerator.
- No blasts of hot or cold air.
- No fluctuations of temperatures.
- No need to constantly adjust thermostats, just set it and forget it.
As an added measure of confidence, geothermal systems have earned ENERGY STAR® certification by the EPA and DOE.
Geothermal systems are found in all types of housing, from luxury and middle-class homes to town homes and even Habitat for Humanity homes. More builders are making geothermal technology available so ask yours.
Contact us today for a quote or assistance with your geothermal needs
You may also contact:
Assistant General Manager
DRAGIN Geothermal Services
10 Lane Road, Raymond, NH
Office: (603) 279-5080