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More of us are looking at ways to lead a sustainable lifestyle. One area, in particular, is home energy use. While some of us look to solar power, geothermal heating and cooling is another viable option.
What is geothermal heating and cooling?
- Geothermal energy gets created under the ground
- Ground temperatures are at a constant 55 degrees
- Warm temperatures during cold weather
- Cool temperatures during warm weather
How does it work?
Geothermal systems comprise of two components: heat pumps and loop fields:
- Loop fields are pipes that get laid underground
- They can get fitted horizontally or vertically
- Loop fields get connected to a device in your home: a heat pump
- Water and antifreeze circulate through the loop fields and heat pump
- Heat pumps circulate heat during cold weather and cool air in hot days
Loop fields: the outdoor portion
- Loops get installed horizontally or vertically, depending on space constraints
- Vertical loop fields are the most common type for smaller properties
- A series of pipes around 50-400 feet deep get installed
- Grout gets applied around the pipes after installation to enhance heat transfer
- Horizontal loop fields are ideal for properties with lots of land, such as farms
- Pond or lake loop fields get installed when homes are near a large body of water
- Coils of pipework get laid in trenches just a few feet deep from houses
Closed and open loop installations
- Most systems are closed loop installation
- This is where the water and antifreeze continually circulate in the system
- Open loop installations use lots of groundwater pumped from a drilled well
- They are rare forms of installation
Heat pumps: the indoor portion
- The pipes from the loop fields get connected to an indoor heat pump
- It removes the heat from the circulated water and transfers it in the home using ducting
- During warmer outdoor temperatures, it will extract the heat and transfer only cold air
- Heat pumps get controlled by a thermostat, just like conventional HVAC systems
- Heat pumps have a lifespan of up to 25 years
What are the advantages of using a geothermal heating and cooling system?
- Geothermal systems have a 400% efficiency rating
- In contrast, the most efficient gas furnace is only 94% efficient
- They reduce home heating and cooling bills by up to 70%
- Heat pumps aren’t any louder than a refrigerator and are much quieter than HVAC systems
- Geothermal heating and cooling is an eco-friendly alternative to traditional options
- There are no carbon emissions and geothermal systems don’t harm the environment
- They last several years longer than conventional and maintained furnaces
- An installation can pay for itself with the savings made in just 5-8 years
Choosing the right size system for your home is crucial. Otherwise, you could end up with an inefficient installation. Contact Academy Air to find out what geothermal system you need!