After reviewing basic design options, the next steps for potential geothermal designers are to challenge the common concerns and myths, study how different choices have different cost impacts, and be aware of the ways a good design can yield bad performance if the installation isn’t done well. Add the habit of turning a retrofit’s circumstances to your advantage, and this underground approach can rise above client expectations in short order.
Geothermal heating and cooling systems, also called geo-exchange systems, have been used for years as alternatives to, or in conjunction with, traditional HVAC systems, transferring heat via the ground instead of the air. In some regards, geothermal has not become a system of choice by engineers due to the challenges it has faced in the industry and a general lack of knowledge about proper design and installation. There are also misconceptions about the cost and use of geothermal units.