How geothermal heating and cooling works
What a geothermal HVAC system is
And common myths regarding geothermal HVAC systems.
Read on to find out more!
How does geothermal heating and cooling work?
Everyone knows that temperatures outside can change drastically depending upon the season. However, they hardly change at all below the earth’s surface. Temperatures remain constant throughout the year as shallow as four feet beneath the ground. Geothermal heating and cooling simply takes advantage of this. Pipes are buried underground (either horizontally or vertically). The purpose of the pipes is to transfer the constant temperatures from beneath the surface into the home. This gives you a way to cool or heat the home however you’d like. An aquifer may be used as well. This involves drilling a well, pumping up water through an exchanger, and then returning the water to its source.
Unlike other heating and cooling systems, geothermal HVAC systems use very little energy. They do not burn fossil fuels; instead, they take the air beneath the earth’s surface and transfer it upwards. This means that they not only save money, but are also more environmentally friendly. As a result, geo-HVAC systems are becoming more and more popular in new home. In the United States alone, geo-HVAC systems are approaching almost 40% of the housing market as of 2016.
What is geothermal HVAC?
HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning) provides a way to control indoor temperatures. It’s suitable for both homes and businesses, and can even improve humidity and air quality. A geothermal HVAC system has two main components. The geothermal unit transfers energy, while the distribution system disperses warm air. The most common geothermal unit used is a pump which brings the air from underground to the surface. This pump can be used to bring both cooler air to the surface as well and bring warmer air into the ground, and vice versa. What this means is that a geothermal HVAC system can both heat and cool a home or business.
What truly separates a Geo-HVAC system from a standard HVAC system is the versatility that it offers. It can not only heat your home, but act as an air conditioner and water heater as well! The primary source of energy used is freely available underground, thus making these systems extremely efficient and renewable as well. They also make far less noise than your average system.
Myths and Facts about Geothermal HVAC
Geo-HVAC systems are becoming more and more popular by the day. However, there are still many myths about them. Here are a few:
Myth: Geothermal HVAC systems aren’t a ‘renewable’ technology because they use electricity.
Fact: One unit of electricity from a Geo-HVAC system creates up to five units worth of electricity. Electricity is only used for the system’s heat pump to operate it when needed. And did you know that solar energy systems need rare earth metals that aren’t going to be around forever? Geothermal HVAC is a great alternative. Geothermal HVAC doesn’t use any fuel to operate, nor does it emit any greenhouse gases.
Myth: Wind and solar power are more efficient than geothermal HVAC systems.
Fact: Geothermal HVAC systems are four times more effective at reducing electrical grid use than wind or solar systems. In actual fact, geothermal HVAC systems are superior to all other renewable technologies on the market. Not to mention, geothermal HVAC is always available. Wind and solar power may not always be, if you live in an area with a varying climate. It’s very important to consider the amount of energy output you’ll get from each type of system. Wind and solar may not be able to provide energy for your entire home; geothermal would not struggle.
Myth: Geothermal HVAC systems need lots and lots of space.
Fact: As stated earlier, the pipes for a Geo-HVAC system can be either horizontal or vertical. What this means is that there is very little space needed above ground for it to fit. Also, another form of geothermal HVAC system uses water from aquifers. This returns the water from where it came from, so that there isn’t any negative impact.