Q: What is an American Dream ultra performance geothermal heat pump?
Am American Dream geothermal heat pump is an electrically powered device that uses the natural heat storage ability of the earth and/or the earth’s groundwater to heat and cool your home or business.
Q. How does it work?
It simply moves heat energy from one place to another. Your refrigerator works using the same scientific principle. By using the refrigeration process, American Dream geothermal heat pumps remove heat energy stored in the earth and/or the earth’s groundwater and transfer it to the home.
Q. How is the heat transferred between the earth and home?
The earth has the ability to absorb and store heat energy from the sun. To use that stored energy, heat is extracted from the earth through our freon filled refrigerant copper line. There, the heat is used to heat your home. In summer the process is reversed and indoor heat is extracted from your home and transferred to the earth.
Q. You mentioned heating and cooling – does it do both?
One of the things that makes an American Dream heat pump so versatile is it’s ability to be both a heating and cooling system in one. You can change from one mode to another with a simple flick of a switch on your indoor thermostat/humidistat. In the cooling mode, our geothermal heat pump takes heat from indoors and transfers it to the cooler earth through an underground loop system.
Q. Do I need separate ground loops for heating and cooling?
No. The same loop works for both. All that happens when changing from heating to cooling, or vise versa, is that the flow of heat is reversed.
Q. What types of loops are available?
R-410a refrigerant filled copper lines are included with your system. Also included in our package is our electrolysis protection system ensuring your loop field lasts a lifetime.
Q. Does the underground coil system really work?
The buried coil or “ground loop” is the most recent technical advancement in heat pump technology. The idea to bury copper coil in the ground to gather heat energy began in the 1940’s but its only been in the last few years that new heat pump designs and improved coil materials have been combined to make geothermal heat pumps the most efficient heating and cooling systems available.
Q. What is a closed loop system?
The term “closed-loop” is used to describe a geothermal heat pump system that uses a continuous loop of freon filled copper or with others(inexpensive plastic pipe). The loop is connected to the indoor heat pump to form a sealed, underground loop through which freon in copper (antifreeze solution in plastic) is circulated.
Q: Where can this loop be located?
That depends on land availability and terrain. Most closed loops are trenched horizontally in yards adjacent to the home. But any area near a home or business with appropriate soil conditions and adequate square footage will work. See here for installation of loop field.
Q: How deep and long will my trenches be?
Trenches are normally six feet deep and up to 400 feet of inexpensive plastic pipe vs 150 feet of freon copper line per ton. One of the advantages of a horizontal loop system is being able to lay the trenches according to the shape of the land. As a rule of thumb, 500-600 feet of plastic pipe is required per ton of system capacity vs 150 feet of freon copper per ton. A well insulated, 2,000 square foot home would need about a three-ton system with 1,500-1,800 feet of plastic loop vs 450 of freon copper loop.
Q: How many pipes are in a plastic loop trench?
Normally, a run of pipe is laid at five feet then looped back over itself at three feet once the bottom pipe is covered with soil. This allows more length of pipe to be put in one trench and has no adverse affect on system efficiency. Other loop designs use four or six pipes and allow for shorter trenches if land area is limited.
Q: What if I don’t have enough room for a horizontal loop?
Closed-loop systems can also be vertical. Holes are bored to about 75 feet per ton of heat pump capacity. U-shaped loops of refrigerant copper line are inserted in the holes. The holes are then backfilled with a sealing solution(grout). Contact us about our drilling equipment.
Q. How long will the copper loop coil last?
AMERICAN DREAM Freon Copper loop is designed to last a lifetime. To ensure this our electrolysis protection system comes standard with our loop field.
Q: How are the copper coil sections of the loop joined?
Freon Copper loops are soldered together with silver and then pressure tested.
Q: Will an earth loop affect my lawn or landscape?
No. Research has proven that loops have no adverse effect on grass, trees or shrubs. Most horizontal loop installations use trenches about six inches wide. This, of course, will leave temporary bare areas that can be restored with grass seed or sod. Vertical loops require little space and result in minimal lawn damage.
Q: Can I reclaim heat from my septic system disposal field?
Because our loop field is designed so efficiently, there is no need to seek the heat from your septic tank.
Q: If the loop falls below freezing, will it hurt the system?
We have addressed this issue in the design and everything you need will be shipped with your system with complete instructions on how to properly install to prevent any freezing from occurring. Our freon copper line has a loop field saturation system to ensure no freezing occurs around or in the loop field.
Q: Can I install an earth loop myself?
Our installer friendly freon copper loop is simple and easy to install and any refrigeration tech can handle the job.
Q: I have a pond near my home. Can I put a loop in it?
Yes, if it’s deep enough and large enough. A minimum of six feet in depth at its lowest level during the year is needed for a pond to be considered. In pond loops, copper freon is 400 times more conductive than inexpensive polyethylene or polybutylene pipe.
Q: What is an open-loop system?
*Open loop is not applicable to our freon copper system.
The term “open-loop” is commonly used to describe a geothermal heat pump system that uses groundwater from a conventional well as a heat source. The groundwater is pumped into the heat pump unit where heat is extracted, and then the water is disposed of in an appropriate manner.
Q: What are the components of an American Dream geothermal heat-pump system?
The three main parts are:
- The heat-pump unit.
- Freon copper loop field(earth coil)
- The freon copper exchanger medium.
- The air-delivery system (ductwork).
Q: Are all geothermal heat pumps alike?
Not at all, our unique freon copper system is by far superior.
There are other different kinds of geothermal heat pumps designed for specific applications. Many geothermal heat pumps, for example, are intended for use only with higher temperature ground water encountered in open-loop systems. Others will operate at entering water temperatures as low as 25 degrees F which are possible in closed-loop systems. Most geothermal heat pumps provide summer air conditioning, but a few brands are designed only for winter heating. Sometimes these heating-only systems incorporate a groundwater cooled coil that can provide cooling in moderate climates. Geothermal heat pumps can also differ in the way they are designed. We offer self contained units combining the blower, compressor, heat exchanger and coil in a single cabinet.
Q: Will I have to add insulation to my home if I install one of these systems?
American Dream geothermal heat pumps will reduce your heating and cooling costs regardless of how well your home is insulated. However, insulating and weatherizing are key factors in realizing the most savings from any type of heating and cooling system.
Q: Can an American Dream geothermal heat pump also heat water for my home?
Yes. With our unit this component is a standard feature. Using our domestic hot water generator, some types of geothermal heat pumps can save you up to 50 percent on your water heating bill by preheating tank water. Desuperheaters are optional on other units. Some geothermal models can provide all of your water needs on demand at the same high efficiencies as the heating cooling cycles.
Q: Is an American Dream ultra performance geothermal heat pump difficult to install?
Our freon copper system is easy to install, especially when they are replacing another forced-air system. They can be installed in areas unsuitable for fossil fuel furnaces because there is no combustion, thus, no need to vent exhaust gases. Ductwork must be installed in homes that don’t have an existing air distribution system. The difficulty of installing ductwork will vary and should be assessed by a contractor.
Q: I have ductwork, but will it work with this system?
In all probability, yes. You can determine(see our manual) ductwork requirements and any minor modifications, if needed.
Q: Do I need to increase the size of my electric service?
No. American Dream Ultra Performance Geothermal heat pumps do not use large amounts of electricity, so your existing service should be adequate. Generally, a 200-amp service will have enough capacity, and smaller amp services may be large enough in some cases. Your electric utility or contractor can determine your service needs.
Q: Should I buy an American Dream heat pump large enough to heat my home with no supplemental heat?
Of course. American Dream Geothermal heat pumps are sized to meet your cooling requirements. Depending on your heating needs, an American Dream geothermal heat pump will supply 100 percent of your design heating load. Sizing the heat pump to handle your entire heating/cooling needs will result in significantly lower heating/cooling costs. Never, oversize a unit, it can cause dehumidification problems in the cooling mode, resulting in a loss of summer comfort.
Q: Do AMERICAN DREAM geothermal heat pumps have outdoor units?
No. The equipment goes inside your home, usually in the basement, garage or crawl space. Because it’s indoors, the efficiency is increased and the lifespan of the compressor and major components are greatly extended.
Q: How efficient is an AMERICAN DREAM geothermal heat pump?
Our system is up to 600% efficient. Instead of burning a combustible fuel to make heat, they simply move heat that already exists in the earth. By doing that, they provide six units of energy for every one unit used to power the heat-pump system.
Q: What does a system like this cost?
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To get an accurate comparison of costs you need to consider the following:
• Payback or how long it takes to recover the difference in costs between the two systems using energy savings. Payback for our geothermal heat-pump systems runs two to six years.
• Energy efficiency of the two Systems. To get an accurate picture, make sure efficiency claims are substantiated. Your lifestyle and how well your home is insulated affect how economical a system will be.
• Total operating savings from heating, cooling and domestic hot water must be combined to get an accurate picture of total energy savings.
• Energy costs and availability, both present and future.
• Maintenance costs and system reliability
• System lifespan.
Q: What about comfort?
American Dream geothermal heat pump system moves warm air (90 degrees – 105 degrees) throughout your home via a standard duct network. Typically, a very even comfort level is found throughout the home. This is because the warm air is moved in slightly higher volumes and, therefore, saturates the home with warmth more evenly. This helps even out hot or cold spots and eliminates the cold air blast common with fossil fuel furnaces. It’s also a great comfort to know that you’ve reduced your energy consumption while using an inexhaustible energy source – the earth.
Q: Can I get a tax credit for installing this system?
Yes. There is a 30% (of total cost) federal tax credit until 12/31/2016. For state tax incentives it depends on where you live. Some states and provinces do have tax credits for installing geothermal systems. Check with your electric utility, Department of Commerce or Ministry of Revenue, or contact us for further details.
Q: Which system is best, open – or closed loop?
The net results in operating cost and efficiency are virtually the same. Which system to choose depends mainly on whether you have an adequate groundwater supply and means of disposal. If you do, an open loop can be used very effectively. If not, either a horizontal or vertical closed-loop system is your best choice. Over a period of years, a closed-loop system will require less maintenance because it’s sealed and pressurized, eliminating the possible build-up of minerals or iron deposits.Questions you should ask about a new heating system:
Regardless of the type of heating system you may be considering for your home or business, there are specific questions you should ask the manufacturer, contact us. These questions deal with finding out the actual efficiency of the system, any operating limitations it may have, and the bottom line of operating costs.
Q: How long is the payback period for your American Dream geothermal heat pump system?
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To figure this accurately, you must know how much per year you’ll save in energy costs with a geothermal system and the difference in costs between it and a conventional heating system and central air conditioner. As an example: If you’ll save $700 per year with a geothermal system and the cost difference is $2,000, your payback will be less than three years.
Q: If I want to know more about geothermal heat pump systems, whom should I contact?
YOUR ELECTRIC UTILITY. Most electric utilities have information about these systems. I you have a question they can’t answer, they will put you in contact with someone who can.Remember! Your Electric Utility Wants You To Be An Informed, Efficient User Of Electricity. Contact Them Any Time You Have A Question About Heating And Cooling Systems.