While many Texans are experiencing record high electric bills, two homeowners are saving money on their energy bills with “EarthLinked” hvac systems.

Jack Chapman of Harlingen and Robert Marbut of Alvarado are the proud owners of EarthLinked systems manufactured by ECR Technologies, Inc. of Lakeland, Florida. While air-source heat pumps rely on inconsistent ambient air temperatures, the earth’s constant temperature—approximately 70∞F in Central Texas provides a much more favorable source of heating and cooling.

Jack Chapman, owner of All Valley Appliance and Refrigeration, recently built a 5,000-sq.-ft., four-bedroom home for his family in Harlingen, about 25 miles from the southern tip of Texas. From the moment he broke ground, his heart was set on installing a geothermal heating and cooling system.

Chapman was attracted to the geothermal heating and cooling option because it uses less electricity and is more environmentally friendly than conventional systems.

Scott Allen installed the 5-ton EarthLinked system for the Chapman home at a depth of 4 feet. From the variety of loop configurations available, they chose the horizontal method, which requires more land area and less depth. Chapman is quite pleased with the outcome.

“The best thing about direct exchange is that it’s 20 to 25% more efficient than water-based GeoExchange units, and up to 65% more efficient than conventional systems,” said Chapman.

Meanwhile, just south of Fort Worth in Alvarado, maintenance electrician Robert Marbut made the decision to install the EarthLinked® system in his new 2,000-sq.-ft., three-bedroom home. Now, only a few months after the installation, he is already benefiting from his choice with significant savings.

Brian Goodwin of A-Good-Deal Heating and Air installed a 3 1/2-ton EarthLinked system for the Marbut home in a horizontal configuration at a depth of 6 feet. After his first EarthLinked® installation, Goodwin is optimistic about the future of direct exchange geothermal systems in Texas.

“I’d be happy to do more EarthLinked® installations in the Dallas/Fort Worth area,” Goodwin said. “And I look forward to seeing how much Robert Marbut saves on his electric bills.”

One of the reasons for this system’s efficiency is the use of copper tubing in the earth loop system. While other geothermal systems rely on plastic piping to transfer water and antifreeze through a large intermediate loop, EarthLinked circulates refrigerant through highly conductive copper earth loops, enabling a direct transfer of thermal energy from the earth.

Through more than 15 years of electric utility-sponsored test projects, ECR’s systems have consistently proven to be the most efficient means of heating and cooling buildings and heating water. EarthLinked is a qualifying EnergyStar partner product within the standards of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The product line also has the highest average efficiency rating of any system rated by the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute and is safety certified. EarthLinked systems are now operating in 28 states.

For information about ECR Technologies visit http://www.ecrtech.com or call Joe Parsons at 863-701-0096, Ext. 23.

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