HeatSmart FLX South holds an open house Sunday to show off the ground source heat pump installed at the Whitter Library in Lodi.
The energy-saving program was begun by Schuyler County Cooperative Extension and serves residents, businesses, non-profits, and government agencies in Schulyer, Seneca Steuben, and Yates Counties. Campaign Director Erica Herman says the process begins with an energy audit, followed by weatherization advice.
Then, either an air source or ground source heat pump is installed. These are 2 to 3 times more energy-efficient than traditional propane, fuel oil, and electric resistance heating.
Can be retrofitted into an existing duct system (great for spaces with many separate rooms) or be put in as mini-splits. Mini-splits are separate units mounted on the wall or floor in each room. They provide separate climate control (temperatures) for each space. Mini-splits have an outside component, the compressor, and the indoor units are called mini-splits.
Mini-splits work well down to -13 degrees Fahrenheit, maintaining full capacity down to 5 degrees, unlike their sisters down south that are primarily used for cooling. Ducted retrofits work at full capacity down to about 30 degrees and for the roughly 5 days a year it gets cooler they shift to electric-resistance heat. For those cooler days with mini-splits, you can speak with your contractor about any supplemental heating needs. A well-weatherized home (which is the first step!) will keep your heat in.
Basics of Ground Source “Geothermal” Heat Pump (GSHP)
These are 4 to 5 times more energy-efficient than traditional propane, fuel oil, and electric resistance heating.
Can be retrofitted or built new with a duct system (great for spaces with many separate rooms) or sometimes water-based systems.
There are two installation options.
The land is trenched and the coolant lines are laid out. A private waterbody can sometimes be used.
A deep hole is made using the same equipment as for the water well (not as deep) and the equipment is placed there. Making the hole is costly, making this option initially higher cost. But the ground temperature at lower depths stays even more consistent.
They work at any temperature because the system lives underground where it is at a steady temperature. A well-weatherized home (which is the first step!) will keep your heat in.
Heat pumps qualify for incentives from NYSEG and NYSERDA, as well as federal and state tax breaks. Sunday’s open house is at the Whitter Library in Lodi from 2-5 p.m. Listen to my full Inside the FLX conversation with Erica Herman below.