What is Geothermal

While this geothermal technology isn’t particularly new, it is becoming much more popular for heating and cooling homes around the world. Here in the Cayman Islands, it’s an outstanding solution that can help reduce the cost of cooling your home or office.
Geothermal heating and cooling uses the energy in your own backyard to exchange heat, the essential function of every air conditioner. You won’t have the noisy external compressor common to traditional central air conditioning systems. Geothermal has a higher initial installation cost, but the long-term savings, operational simplicity, energy efficiency, and quiet operation make the investment worthwhile. Homes near a water source can use geo exchange technology. Using a water source is cheaper to install as you don’t have to dig into the ground to install the piping. EcoSmart has a patented titanium heat exchange system for ocean looped geo exchanged designs.

Why you should choose Geothermal Cooling

Longevity – A properly planned, professionally installed and maintained geothermal air conditioner has an expected working life of 25 – 30 years, far exceeding the 4-5 year life of typical AC units. Also, since none of the geothermal system is exposed to the elements, they’re much more likely to be unaffected by flooding or hurricanes
Power Smart – Geothermal cooling harnesses the energy of the earth to cool your home, requiring much less power than a compressor-based cooling system. A properly planned and installed geothermal system can provide $5 – $8 of cooling energy for every dollar of electricity used v Environmentally friendly – Geothermal cooling systems don’t require flame or fuel to operate; no fossil fuels means no carbon production, and that’s good for everyone
Peace and Quiet – Unlike traditional central AC systems, your geothermal solution doesn’t have an external compressor, so the only sound you’ll hear is the cool breeze
Multi-function – Your geothermal system can be used to cool your entire home or business while heating your domestic hot water, pool, or hot tub

How Geothermal Works

Geothermal and geo-exchange are two names for the same principle: extracting heat from one area and moving it to another. Here in the Caymans, we don’t have much of a need for heat, but the concept is ideal for a central air conditioning system for your home or office.Geothermal heating and cooling works via the first law of thermodynamics: energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it can only change forms. When two materials come into contact, the warmer material will share its warmth with the cooler item until they’re both the same temperature. You can see this in action by pouring yourself a drink and adding a few ice cubes. The ice melts because the thermal energy from the warmer drink is being transferred to the ice cube. Your geothermal air conditioner works on this same principle: the warm air in your home is transferred to the cool ground in your backyard by changing the form of the refrigerant in the cooling loop.

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Ground Source or Water Source Geothermal

There are two primary types of geothermal options: ground source or water source. The components in your home are the same for either source; the chief difference is how and where the exchange mechanism is located. A ground source heat exchanger is buried in your yard, vertically or horizontally depending on the available space. Refrigerant is passed through the system, and it’s the expansion and contraction of the refrigerant that cools your home. The warm air from your home is transferred into the ground. In other climates, this process can be reversed to heat your home in the winter months and cool it in the summer. While this isn’t necessary in the Cayman Islands, some of the heat energy can be used to heat your home hot water, pool, hot tubs, or radiant in-floor heating. A water source heat exchanger performs the same function, but instead of being buried in your yard, the cooling loop is located underwater, either in the ocean or a pond, lake, or in some cases, a well.

Cost Savings with Geo Thermal

At EcoSmart Cooling, we’re trained and experienced with all makes and models of home air conditioning systems, but we’re also able to provide energy efficient alternatives that are ideal for the Cayman Islands climate. One technology that is gaining popularity around the world is the Geothermal heat pump, also known as ground-source heat pumps. You might be thinking “Why do I need a heat pump in the Cayman Islands?” In other climates, most heat pumps do double-duty: extracting the warm air from your home in the summer to cool your home, and stealing the heat from the ground in the winter to keep your family nice and warm. The difference lies in which direction the refrigerant is flowing. Here in the Cayman Islands, geothermal is an excellent option for many reasons.


Monthly Air Conditioning Costs

The rule of thumb with geothermal is they will use one unit of electrical energy to create three to four units of cooling energy. This is the Coefficient of Performance (COP). Your geothermal system can also save money by heating your pool, radiant flooring, hot tub, and hot water in your home.

Replacement Costs

Geothermal air conditioning systems don’t have an external unit, which gets destroyed over time by the corrosive salt air . There’s a thermal exchange unit that is installed underground, and this connects directly to your indoor equipment. Another benefit of this setup is there’s none of the noise found with a traditional AC system.

Repair Costs

Fewer moving parts, fewer problems. Your geothermal solution doesn’t have the large external compressor unit of a traditional central air conditioning system, so there’s no concern of a blown compressor or damage from flooding or hurricanes.

Save the World

Since geothermal cooling is using the free and green energy found in your yard, there’s no fossil fuels being used to power the system, and with a Coefficient of Performance (COP) rating of 3.0 to 4.0, every dollar of electrical energy results in $5 – $8 of heating or cooling energy.

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