MOST OFTEN ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT GEOTHERMAL SYSTEMS

1. Will the copper rot away underground?

Copper is a noble metal and is non-corrosive in most soil conditions. It is also one of the few metals that exists naturally as an element. Copper is widely used underground in water lines, carrying water from the street to the home in most residential settings. A highly acidic soil can be corrosive to copper. However, this situation is rare and if it exists, the copper can be protected via the use of a sacrificial anode, either magnesium or zinc, which will sacrifice itself to save the copper. The fact is, as stated in a treatise by James R. Myers, a Corrosion Consultant, of Franklin, Ohio, and Arthur Cohen, Manager of Standards and Safety Engineering for the Copper Development Association,"The belief by knowledgeable engineers, architects and water works personnel is that copper is not adversely affected by the vast majority of worldwide soils is well founded... There is also the outstanding history of copper water tubes' performance as a highly corrosive resistant material in most underground environments."

2. Freon is dangerous in the ground.

Freon gas, R-22, is a safe and clean inert gas and is not harmful, flammable, or poisonous. R-22 is in most all air-conditioning and heat pump systems and simply boils off and dissipates if an unlikely leak should ever occur. R-22 has 95% less potential to damage the ozone layer, as certain other CFC refrigerants, and poses no danger to the ground water supply. Additionally, the EPA has reviewed the Direct Exchange technology and has indicated their approval via the following quote: "DXPH's don't appear to use appreciably more R-22 than air-source heat pumps do, and we are similarly not discouraging the installation of air source heat pumps. Furthermore, we are not aware of any soil or ground water toxicity issues that would discourage the use of R-22 in DXHP's."

3. How do you fix a leak?

The copper lines utilized in the DXG installation are seamless and terminate at a centrally located distributor. The location of the distributor is marked in your Homeowners Manual. Should an unlikely leak in the copper field ever develop, the service technician will go to the distributors. If the leak occurs somewhere else in the field, the service technician will pressure test the lines, find the leaking line, and crimp off the leaking tube and abandon it. The ground coil is provided with an advance of 20% more copper lines than needed for efficient operation. These repairs are extremely rare and will be covered by the limited lifetime ground coil warranty if the leak is due to a defective component.

4. Why does the equipment installation cost more than a conventional unit?

The Direct Exchange is a high tech system that requires careful installation. The system may require more time to install, due to the installation of the ground coil. Additionally, it is a more sophisticated system and incorporates many functions found only in very expensive commercial heating and cooling equipment. Thus, the initial price may be higher than other systems. However, as a result of the tremendous monthly savings in heating/cooling costs afforded by the system, it is virtually always the least expensive equipment you can own and operate... as well as the most comfortable.

5. How long does the system last?

The DXG system will likely be one of the longest lasting systems available on the market. Since the DXG system is located entirely indoors and underground, it is not subjected to pressure and temperature extremes, or the the elements. The DXG also operates at a much lower power draw than conventional equipment, and with the DXG's pump down feature, the system starts under low pressure every cycle. All of this combined will add years to the life span of the DXG equipment.

6. I have never heard of this product before, is it too new?

The concept for Direct Exchange is far from new. The technology follows the same concept utilized in all refrigerant and air conditioning systems. The system has merely been reengineered, the concept being to utilize the constant temperatures of the earth to provide efficient operation. While the concept and design for the Direct Exchange technology is simple and utilizes many standard refrigeration techniques, the geothermal design is more sophisticated than conventional air source equipment. This particular system requires a training program for the dealer. Additionally, there are several unique, patent pending, features developed that help generate the super-high efficiencies. The design for the DXG system is well proven and provides reliable operation. Older, less efficient, DX systems have been in operation since the early 1980's.

7. The system is too expensive.

When you incorporate the operational savings provided by the DXG, the system is virtually always the least expensive system available to heat and cool a home. While the up-front cost is often higher, it is due to the high quality and value of the system. It is more sophisticated and requires greater installation expertise than conventional equipment. However, it provides quick pay back and incredible savings.

8. Gas and other fossil fuels are safe, and I've used them all my life.

Gas and other fossil fuels are actually burned in a furnace to create the heat that circulates through a home. The burning of these fossil fuels creates poisonous emission gases that must be exhausted through flue pipes. A leak in one of these exhaust pipes could result in the emission of dangerous and or/poisonous gases into the home, much the same as those emitted by a car exhaust system. Additionally, fossil fuels are explosive, and numerous explosions that result in property destruction, injury, and death occur annually in fossil fuel fired homes. The Direct Exchange technology is safe and environmentally friendly. There is no open flame, and the homeowners' home insurance rates are often lower because DX systems are safer.

9. Gas and fossil fuel systems provide hot air in the home.

The air temperatures provided by older gas furnaces are hot and actually create a stratification of air temperatures in the home. This means that the air near the floor is generally colder than air at the ceiling, because the hotter air rises faster. Additionally, since these systems must expend a larger amount of energy to heat up the plenum to provide hot air to the space, the thermostats generally will allow the temperature to drop at least 2 degrees in the home before the system is activated. This leads to a hot/cold feeling and does not provide even temperatures in the home. While the newer, high efficiency fossil fuel systems provide heated air in the 105-110 degree range since they are trying to extract more heat and reject less up the chimney, these systems still must see the 2 degree temperature drop in the home. The air provided by the DXG is warm and comfortable, much warmer than that periodically provided by conventional heat pumps, yet not as uncomfortably hot as that provided by many fossil fuel furnaces. Temperatures are generally in the 93-115 degree Fahrenheit range and will typically keep the temperature of your home more uniform.

10. Fossil fuels are cheaper to operate than a heat pump using electricity.

Gas and fossil fuel systems actually burn a fuel to create heat in the home. These systems are limited to providing 100% of the heat content of the fuel burned. The DXG utilizes the ground as its primary energy source and the electrical energy utilized is only used to run the compressor and distribute the heat into the home. Because the system obtains its energy from the ground, it is typically able to provide 300-600% more than the amount of energy used to operate the equipment. Since the equipment utilizes the constant temperatures of the earth as its exchange medium, as opposed to the varying temperatures utilized by an air source heat pump or air conditioning system, the DXG provides constant and efficient operation regardless of outdoor temperatures. When properly sized, a unit will rarely ever utilize a supplemental heat source.

11. What effect will the Direct Exchange ground coil have on my yard?

The DXG copper loops are installed in the ground and require some excavation for installation. Once the excavation has been back-filled, the ground will settle for a short time and grass can be seeded over the field. The copper coil, which is buried at least 4 feet under your yard, will have no significant adverse impact on your yard.

12. Can we put anything on top of the field?

Small ornamental trees, shrubs, and gardens can be planted on top of the ground coil. While we do not recommend that you plant any huge deep rooting trees within 25 feet of the system ground coil, normal landscaping, driveways, etc., will have no impact on your DXG ground coil. Simply avoid placing any structural or bearing wall over the ground coils, since there may be some ground expansion/contraction during the heating/cooling seasons.

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