Services Green Heat System Types FAQs Projects Contact Us Links/News















































































































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 DRAGIN Geothermal Well Drilling, Inc. 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?

How does it work?


Is geothermal new?


What are the major benefits to the home/building owner?


What are the environmental advantages?


How popular is geothermal?


Is geothermal used primarily in homes?


Will geothermal work in a very hot or very cold climate?


Does geothermal cost more?


How much will my system cost to install?


How long will it take for my system to pay for itself?


Where can I go to finance a system for my home?


Are there any financial incentives for installing geothermal?


What size of system will I need?


I just bought a home/building with a geothermal system. Who should I call to make sure it's operating properly?


What is an Energy Efficient Mortgage?

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.

What are the environmental advantages?

According to data supplied by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Geothermal Technologies, nearly 40% of all U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are the result of using energy to heat, cool and provide hot water for buildings. This is about the same amount of CO2 contributed by the transportation sector. (source: Environmental and Energy Benefits of Geothermal Heat Pumps)
A typical 3-ton residential geothermal system produces an average of about one pound less Carbon Dioxide (CO2) per hour of use than a conventional system. To put that in perspective, over an average 20-year lifespan, 100,000 units of nominally sized residential geothermal systems will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by almost 1.1 million metric tons of carbon equivalents.

That would be the equivalent of converting about 58,700 cars to zero-emission vehicles, or planting more than 120,000 acres of trees.

And the waste heat removed from the home's interior during the cooling season can be used to provide virtually free hot water-resulting in a total savings in hot water costs of about 30% annually, and lowering emissions even further.
Download the GHPC Geothermal Fact Sheet to read more about the benefits a system can bring to your home.

How popular is geothermal?


There are more than one million installations in the United States today. Although this is a very small percentage of the total HVAC market, the number of people who are choosing to install geothermal is growing rapidly (about 20% every year) as more learn about the technology.

Is geothermal used primarily in homes?


While many homes have been fitted with geothermal systems, a large number of commercial enterprises, including factories, retail stores, office buildings and schools also use geothermal to save energy and protect the environment. In fact, there are more than one million installations in the United States today.

According to the U.S. EPA, schools are a particularly attractive place for the use of technology. Across the country, schools using geothermal right now are saving an estimated $25,000,000 in energy costs-which can be used instead for better educational equipment and more teachers. These schools also save a half-billion pounds of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions per year.

Should all of the nation's schools convert to geothermal, the EPA has estimated that we could reduce oil imports by 61 million barrels annually, and provide the same environmental benefits as planting 8 million acres of trees or converting nearly 4 million cars to zero-emission vehicles.

If the same comparison were made across all commercial and residential segments, the potential for environmental benefit would be staggering.

Will geothermal work in a very hot or very cold climate?


Yes, geothermal technology can be used in any part of the country. Why? Because it transfers heat to and from the earth, which remains at a relatively constant temperature, rather than the air, where temperatures can vary greatly.

Does geothermal cost more?


Not necessarily. It depends on how you measure cost. While they sometimes cost more to install in homes than conventional systems because of the ground loop piping, geothermal systems typically have the lowest life-cycle cost of any heating and cooling system. Heating and cooling costs for a typical 2,000-sq.-ft. home can run as low as $1 a day.

Moreover, installation costs have declined substantially in recent years, and they're expected to continue to fall, as more builders and contractors offer geothermal systems, and as the industry develops innovative ways to install the systems faster and more efficiently.

Altogether, geothermal systems are a sound investment. The amount they save the homeowner every month in energy costs is more than enough to offset their higher installation cost.

Remember, too, that geothermal means extra savings on repair, maintenance, and hot water bills.

Furthermore, the energy efficiency of the system adds value to the home. The National Association of Realtors relies on the Appraisal Journal to help you determine the total value of your home. An October 1998 article printed in the Journal states that a home's value increases by $10 to $25 for every $1 reduction in utility bills. That's a lot of equity to build just by choosing geothermal!

How much will my system cost to install?


The prices have a wide range based on a number of variables, such as your home or building's size and design, the brand and model you choose, your location, etc., so it is impossible to provide a number here. However, you may be surprised how affordable it is.

To find out how much it would cost to add a geothermal system into your home or business, contact DRAGIN Geothermal Well Drilling, Inc. today.

How long will it take for my system to pay for itself?


The answer to this question depends on what it would have cost you if you were operating another heating and cooling system, and how much lower your bills will be when you're using the geothermal system. We can provide you with an estimated life cycle cost analysis, which should tell you about how much it will cost you to operate the system and how long it will take for the savings to cover the cost of the system completely.

Where can I go to finance a system for my home?


While we don't offer financing, we can certainly suggest you contact your mortgage broker or local bank to see about using a home equity loan or some other sort of conventional financing means.

Another option you might consider is obtaining an Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM) through another lender - click here to read more about EEMs on the ENERGY STAR website.

Are there any financial incentives for installing geothermal?


Some states and utilities have programs to encourage you to install geothermal. The GHPC has listed all the programs they know about on this web page. If your state isn't listed, you might consider calling your state energy office or local utility for more information.

You will notice that they have also listed the most up-to-date information available on the U.S. Energy Policy Act, which promises to offer a number of financial incentives for geothermal systems installed after January 1, 2006. This page is updated as soon as new information is made available, so please check back often to monitor the progress of this very exciting bill.

What size of system will I need?


The size of the system depends on the size and design of your home or building. Call DRAGIN Geothermal Well Drilling today to speak with a knowledgeable representative or click here to get a free quote.

I just bought a home/building with a geothermal system.
Who should I call to make sure it's operating properly?

DRAGIN Geothermal Well Drilling can help you with an existing system as well. Call us today or click here to send us an email.

What is an Energy Efficient Mortgage?

“Energy Efficient Mortgages,” also known as EEMs, make it easier for borrowers to qualify for loans to purchase homes with specific energy-efficiency improvements. Lenders can offer conventional EEMs, FHA EEMs, or VA EEMs.

Conventional Energy Efficient Mortgages
Conventional EEMs can be offered by lenders who sell their loans to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Conventional EEMs increase the purchasing power of buying an energy efficient home by allowing the lender to increase the borrower’s income by a dollar amount equal to the estimated energy savings. The Fannie Mae loan also adjusts the value of the home to reflect the value of the energy efficiency measures.

FHA Energy Efficient Mortgages
FHA EEMs allow lenders to add 100 percent of the additional cost of cost-effective energy efficiency improvements to an already approved mortgage loan (as long as the additional costs do not exceed $4000 or 5 percent of the value of the home, up to a maximum of $8000, whichever is greater). No additional down payment is required, and the FHA loan limits won’t interfere with the process of obtaining the EEM.

VA Energy Efficient Mortgages
The Veteran’s Administration (VA) EEM is available to qualified military personnel, reservists and veterans for energy improvements when purchasing an existing home. The VA EEM caps energy improvements at $3,000–$6,000.

To learn more about EEMs contact Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the FHA or the VA. Additional information about writing energy-efficient mortgages can be found on the Web sites for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET)
134 Whittier Highway, Meredith, NH 03253 - Phone 603/279-5080 Fax 603/279-0436
2696 Cranberry Highway, Wareham, MA 02571 - Phone 508/295-9040 Fax 508/295-9007 | Toll Free: (877) NH-
GEOTH(ERMAL)