HVAC 101: Geothermal Heating and Cooling
What is Geothermal Heating and Cooling?
Simply put, Geothermal Heating and Cooling is a system that uses natural, renewable energy from the heat at the earth’s core to heat and cool your home more efficiently than other systems. In fact, they use the relatively constant temperature of the earth to heat and cool homes and business with 40% to 70% less energy than conventional systems.
The Three Components of a Geothermal Heating and Cooling System:
Every Geothermal heating and cooling system will have a heat pump, heat exchanger, and a distribution system. The heat pump is the mechanical device that extracts heat from the air, water, or earth. They are classified as either “air source” or “ground source” (geothermal) units. The underground heat exchanger is the “heat sink” that stores energy in the earth when cooling and extracts energy from the earth when heating. A distributions system, such as air ducts, is how the heated or cooled air moves into and around your home.
What makes Geothermal Energy Better?
Because the earth’s temperature stays fairly constant, Geothermal heat pumps are much more energy-efficient than air conditioners or air-based heat pumps that rely on the inconsistent temperature of outdoor air. Most homes that use them save quite a lot on energy costs. They are also more convenient to install than other “clean” energy options since they are mostly underground. In an “open-loop” system, it is not necessary to connect the heat exchanger to the rest of the system above ground, so it can be installed under existing landscaping, driveways, sidewalks or even the home itself. Geothermal systems can also provide inexpensive hot water, either to supplement or replace the output of a conventional, domestic water heater.
A geothermal heating and cooling system is a smart investment for consumers who want a system that provides a high level of comfort and low monthly energy bills for as long as they own their homes. With the Stimulus Bill offering a 30% tax credit for homeowners installing a geothermal heat pump system, there has never been a better time to purchase one.
If you’re interested in switching to Geothermal before this winter, talk to one of our Comfort Specialists! They can be reached at 1-800-404-0371 or online. In the meantime, you can learn more about the technical details of how Geothermal Heating and Cooling works by visiting our Geothermal page!