Date: 23/08/2019
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What about Geothermal HVAC in Commercial Applications

Roger Eldridge, Partner , and Jeff Stone, Technician, explain how geothermal systems  heat and cool commercial buildings.

Commercial applications tend to be schools, universities, and churches.  We have done projects as small as a bank and as large as a school. We are doing a project at Lipscomb University for the nursing building that is geothermal. They are taking a building that was recently a water source heat pump system and they are converting it to geothermal. The front end costs are high but overtime it will pay for itself and once it’s paid for the efficiencies will more than pay for itself in the future. We all know that energy costs are not going down they are going up. 

What kind of payback period is there?  It depends. It could be as short as five years or as much as twenty years.  Obviously the larger the facility, and there are a lot of factors that play into that, runtime, weather, large increases in utility costs. We can only calculate payback based on what we know today. 

One Nashville geothermal commercial installation needs capacity of 42 tons.  One ton equals 12,000 BTUs per hour of heating or cooling (more). A 500 ft deep well has 1,000 feet of continuous pipe and provides for 3.5 tons.  This installation has 12 wells spaced 25 feet apart.  Thus 12 times 3.5 equals 42 tons.

Jeff Stone, who was in charge of installation, explained the equipment room. There are 9 heat pump units of various capacities from 2 tons to 12 tons. The total capacity of all 9 units is 42 tons.  Each unit is ducted to a different zone in the building. By having separate units  one zone can be heating with another cooling.  Two large diameter paralleled pipes coming from the wells surround two sides of the room. One pipe is the supply line and the other the return line. A single electronically controlled variable speed pump adjusts the flow of water throughout the system.  Valves are provided to protect the water from draining out in the over 12,000 feet of piping in case the motor needs to be repaired.  An air separator lets any air in the pipe loop to bleed off without losing any water thus preventing an air lock.  The main supply and return pipes are tapped at each unit to supply water to the unit. Valves allow the water supply for the unit to be shut off permitting maintenance on that unit such as replacing a coil without shutting down the entire system. Each unit has one or two easily replaced air filters.

Important Tips & Advice



You often don't think about your heating or air-conditioning system until something goes wrong. But there is so much you can do to help keep your system from breaking down. We regularly post information to help you learn what you can do to keep your system running, to save money and energy.  Search our many posts, videos, and podcasts, for valuable information that is never a sales pitch. Subscribe to receive an email when something new is posted, so you won’t miss any important tips.

Choosing a Repair Company

Whether you’re talking about heating or cooling, repairing or replacing a system, you want a company that can advise you reliably based on what is in your best interest, not based on what is convenient or what earns them the most money (commissions). We'll help you choose the best solution to fit your needs. Check out our many posts at HVAC News You Can Use and our podcasts.

Going Green

We're concerned about the environment and know all the latest technologies - such as geothermal systems, LED lights, and smart thermostats - that can reduce energy and put more "green" in your pocket!  We've provided HVAC systems in certified LEED buildings and written many posts on ways to Go Green.

The Sign of Service

We are a repair company performing a full range of commercial and residential heating, air conditioning, energy management and comfort products service, maintenance, and installation. We are a locally-owned company serving Nashville-Davidson County and the surrounding counties including Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson, Sumner, Robertson, and Cheatham.

Who We Are

Our service technicians are fully trained and experienced.  We can tackle the most complicated system to the simplest of systems – from large commercial plants to single-family homes.  Our ownership group of Eddie Hutton, Tony Anderson, Roger Eldridge,  Swaney Powers and Alan Seilbeck have over 125 years combined experience as leaders in the HVAC industry.


We are proud of our dispatchers that respond to your telephone call. When your system is down they make things happen. Our trucks are loaded with most parts needed for a quick repair. You can call day and night 7 days a week. Our normal weekday hours are 7:00AM to 5:00PM. Click on the button below to schedule a service call online. Emails and forms can only be answered weekdays from 7-5.”  

615-832-8500 Online Service Call


Did you know you should service your HVAC on a regular schedule – just like you would your car?  We have specialized maintenance programs to ensure the clean, energy efficient and safe operation of your HVAC systems.  This helps minimize service interruptions/breakdowns and maximize your equipment's lifespan.  All maintenance contract customers are assigned a primary technician that will get to know your facility and equipment and will treat it like his own.  You’ll receive discounts on repairs or new installations, and get priority service when it is cold or hot outside and you need service promptly.  Plus, maintenance contract customers are never charged overtime rates for emergency services after-hours, weekends or holidays. We’ll teach you how to save on maintenance costs by showing you things you can do yourself and when you need a technician. Here are some good posts:  Repair vs. Replace, Things to Try Before Calling for Service, Springtime Tips that Pay Off.


Our team takes on HVAC projects for office, school, retail and industrial facilities. Check out these case studies:

Replacement of a 250-ton Cooling Tower

Ductless HVAC at Brentwood Middle School