What Is Geothermal Energy?
Geothermal energy is the heat from the Earth. It can be found almost anywhere, including your own backyard.
Geothermal heating capitalizes on the fact that temperatures in the Earth remain fairly constant when you dig just a few feet below the surface. Whether you live somewhere where temperatures fluctuate or somewhere with a more constant temperature, the temperature below the surface stays relatively the same.
The upper part of the Earth’s crust, roughly the first ten feet of ground, can maintain a temperature between about 50° and 60° F. Geothermal heat pumps can use this energy to heat and cool buildings while using less energy than a typical HVAC system.
Geothermal heat pumps do not burn fossil fuels. Instead they simply transfer heat from the Earth to your home and back out. Because these pumps harness the available energy from the Earth, they can save you anywhere from 30 – 70 percent on your bill over the next 5 – 10 years.
Let’s say it’s 5°F one night during the winter and you have your thermostat set for a cozy 72°F in your home. It takes a lot less energy to reach your desired temperature if the starting point is 55°F using a geothermal heat pump.
How Does It Work?
Geothermal HVAC systems use a series of equipment and piping to transfer the Earth’s energy to and from your house.
A heat pump exchanger is the series of pipes called the “loop.” This loop of pipes is buried in the ground either vertically or horizontally depending on the geography of the region. A fluid (usually water mixed with environmentally friendly antifreeze) is circulated through the pipes to absorb and dispel the heat from the ground. This heat is then extracted by the heat pump unit and delivered in or out of your living spaces using conventional ductwork air delivery systems.
Don’t Let The Name Fool You!
Geothermal heat pumps can heat and cool a building. They can even be equipped to provide hot water.
Will It Work In My Building?
Geothermal heat pumps are flexible and can be installed in new construction or retrofitted to work with existing systems.
Geothermal systems require very little maintenance and are environmentally conscious. These systems use the least amount of electricity, reduce air and water pollution, and produce the fewest emissions. They are safe for the environment, as well as your home. They also provide the most stable comfort level, with more efficient humidity control and less noise.