We’re still chugging along with this blog series.  Geothermal, what is it, how does it work, is it an option for you?  All good questions, keep reading to find out!

Geothermal heating works by using the constant temperature of the earth as the exchange medium instead of the outside air temperature.   Basically, what this means is that the temperature in the ground is steady and the opposite of what is outside, therefore if is a very good medium to use to regulate the temperature in your home.  Cold outside? Warm in the ground.  Hot outside?  Cool in the ground.  Geothermal takes advantage of this natural occurrence.

There are many variations of geothermal installations.  First, let’s take a look at closed loop.  Closed loop works by circulating antifreeze through a closed loop, typically a plasticor copper tubing.  There are different variations in the install of the closed loop:

  • Horizontal: Great for residential and new construction

Illustration of a horizontal closed loop system shows the tubing leaving the house and entering the ground, then branching into three rows in the ground, with each row consisting of six overlapping vertical loops of tubing. At the end of the rows, the tubes are routed back to the start of the rows and combined into one tube that runs back to the house.

  • Vertical: Ideal for commercial buildings and schools

Illustration of a vertical closed loop system shows the tubing leaving a building and entering the ground, then branching off into four rows in the ground. In each row, the tubing stays horizontal except for departing on three deep vertical loops. At the end of the row, the tubing loops back to the start of the row and combines into one tube that runs back to the building.

  • Pond/Lake: Lowest cost option if near a body of water (also the featured image)

Illustration of a pond or lake closed loop system shows the tubing leaving the house and entering the ground, then extending to a pond or lake. The tubing drops deep into the pond or lake and then loops horizontally in seven large overlapping loops, then returns to the water's edge, extends up near the surface, and returns back to the house.

 

And then there’s the open loop option, which works by using a well or body of water as heat exchanger.  It’s really only an ideal option when there is an adequate supply of clean water.

Illustration of an open loop system shows a tube carrying water out of the house, into the ground, and over to a well, where it discharges into the groundwater. A separate tube in a well some distance away draws water from the well and returns it to the house.

Advantages Geothermal Heating

  • Cost effective
    • 80% cheaper than fossil fuel powered options
  • Lower utility bills
  • Environmentally friendly
    • United States Environmental Protection Agency has deemed geothermal as the most environmentally-safe, cost effective heating and cooling system on the market
  • Even heat distribution
    • Doesn’t create hot and cold blasts that can come from conventional heating and cooling systems

Brief, concise, but hopefully informative.  We know shoppers out there really like to do their research before making any buying decisions, so we wanted to help with that learning process.  Our last blog post will be about heat pumps and air handlers, keep up to date on their release by following us on Twitter and liking our page on Facebook.

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