Geothermal heating and cooling is an excellent way to heat and cool your home, however whether you think it makes sense to switch or not is completely up to you. In this article you will learn all about geothermal heating and how it is beneficial to both you and the environment. By the end of this article you should know whether geothermal heating is something you would want to install in your home or not.
With winter quickly approaching the main focus of this article will be on geothermal heating. The most common form of heating today is by a heat pump. Conventional heat pumps transfer heat to or from a building to the surrounding air. A geothermal system used for heating is commonly known as a water source heat pump. This geothermal system uses the earth as a source for heat during the winter.
While the temperatures outside seem very cold the ground temperature stays the same for the most part. The ground temperature remains anywhere from fifty to sixty degrees all year long in most of the United States so that is the perfect opportunity to utilize the ground temperatures and that is just what geothermal systems do.
Geothermal Systems Main Focus
In the recent years geothermal systems have been most commonly found in residential areas because they have potential of reducing annual heating and cooling costs by up to forty percent. Geothermal systems have however been used for decades in commercial facilities where they have produced similar savings. You can find geothermal systems in office facilities, school buildings, military buildings, and now homes. There are several different types of geothermal systems and each will be mentioned below.
Three Common Types Of Geothermal Systems
The three most common types of geothermal systems are horizontal, vertical, and pond. They are all closed loop systems, which means that they circulate an antifreeze solution through a loop that is buried underground or submerged in a pond. The site conditions of your home will depend on which type you have to have. One of these can form part of your HVAC system.
Horizontal Geothermal Systems
Horizontal geothermal systems run the piping loop in trenches that are generally anywhere from four to six feet deep. The piping is made of plastic and can be laid in a straight line or in coils located within the trench to provide a greater length of pipe in a shorter section of the trench. Depending on the soil conditions the trenches may require a special grouting compound that will have to be packed around the piping to improve the heat transfer. The drawback to horizontal geothermal systems is that they require a large area of land to install the trenches they are however one of the least expensive types of geothermal systems.
Vertical Geothermal Systems
Vertical geothermal systems use vertical boreholes similar to a well. Two sections of pipe are inserted into each hole and joined at the bottom by a U-bend. The hole is then filled with a thermally conductive material to maximize heat transfer with the piping. This type of geothermal system required very little land so if you live in a small neighborhood setting this just may be the system for you.
Pond Geothermal Systems
Pond geothermal systems are for facilities with a large sized body of water on site. Piping is run from the facility or home to the pond where coils of piping are installed in the water. If you have access to a pond this is the least expensive option of the three because you do not have to pay to have trenches or boreholes dug.
I think with just the energy savings alone a geothermal system makes sense to install. It is beneficial to both you and the environment. If you are interested in installing a geothermal system contact your local heating and cooling system that offers geothermal heating and cooling options.