John Ciovacco interesting person for the Five Questions feature of Saratogian

JCiovacco-2Recently, John Ciovacco was interviewed by Paul Post for the Five Questions feature in the Lifestyles section of the Saratogian. He was asked five questions on geothermal, read below for those questions and more information on the Five Questions feature of the Saratogian.

1. How does geothermal work?

The earth’s temperature in this area is a constant 52 degrees below frost line. In winter, the system uses that energy for heating purposes; in summer, for cooling. It’s a closed-loop system. Water circulates through pipes in the ground, carrying thermal energy to the heat pump in winter for heating; and moving heat from the house into the ground in summer.

2. What is the best application?

Geothermal is best used with new construction or when it’s time to switch out old equipment. It’s expensive up-front, but there’s a savings over the long run. The payback period for new construction applications is three to five years; five to seven years for older buildings. Thirty percent federal tax credits are available through 2016 for new homes and retrofits.

3. Where can it be used?

It’s good in both rural and residential settings. We’ve done six applications in downtown Saratoga Springs. Recently, we installed a geothermal system at Oscar’s Smoke House in Warrensburg. The system cools their six walk-in coolers. Waste heat is used to heat the building’s work and public areas.

4. When was Aztech Geothermal founded?

Our partner firm, Aztech Technologies, has been around for a while. We got into energy with Aztech Geothermal in 2008. We’ve done about 100 installations in the Capital District.

5. Can geothermal be used with other types of renewable energy?

Yes. We do a lot of solar-thermal hybrid systems. Solar technology provides hot water, geothermal provides heat and solar PV (photovoltaic) generates electricity. It’s possible to achieve net-zero energy usage meaning the system makes as much energy as you use.

For the online article and more information on the 5 Question feature: