Geothermal

What It Is: The Geothermal Process?

The geothermal process is based on a simple premise: Below the frost line - usually about six feet deep – the earth is a constant temperature of about 50 degrees Fahrenheit all year long.

During the winter, the heat pump absorbs heat from the ground and uses it to warm the air in your home. In the warmer summer months, the processed is reversed, taking heat from your home and transferring it back into the ground.

The loops of piping are buried in the ground near your home or business, either vertically or horizontally. That ground loop is connected to a pumping module inside your home.

The pump circulates a mixture of water and the antifreeze through the ground loop, where it absorbs heat from the earth.

When the heated liquid reaches the heat pump inside your home, the heat is multiplied and used to warm the air inside the air-handling system. A blower sends the warmed air throughout the building through ductwork.

The basic elements of a geothermal system include:
  • Underground loops of plastic piping
  • A liquid antifreeze solution
  • A heat pump
  • An air distribution system.
Geothermal benefits over traditional heating and cooling systems:
  • Lower operating costs: A geothermal system can cut utility bills by 30 to 50 percent compared to conventional heating and cooling systems.
  • Environmental impact: Ground-source heat is naturally renewable and non-polluting.
  • Lower maintenance costs: All equipment is protected indoors or underground.
  • Life span: A geothermal system can have a life expectancy of up to 30 years; ground loops are often warranted for up to 50 years.
  • Single system: Geothermal equipment provides both heating and cooling in one system.
  • Indoor comfort: Geothermal systems eliminate the drafts common with conventional forced-air systems.
  • Design flexibility: Geothermal systems can be easily and inexpensively subdivided or expanded to fit building remodeling or additions.
  • Energy efficiency: A geothermal heat pump can move more than three units of heat energy for every one unit of electrical energy used to power the system.
  • Safety: No dangers of gas leaks or carbon monoxide poisoning.

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