Geothermal heating and cooling is generating substantial interest as more homeowners adopt the ultimate in low-cost and environmentally friendly indoor comfort. Just six feet beneath the earth's surface, temperatures average about 55 degrees. This convenient geological fact, combined with efficient heat pump technology, turns the earth itself into an available energy source for geothermal heating and cooling.
Misunderstandings and myths surround some of the basics of geothermal heating and cooling, however. Here are a few you may hear—plus the actual facts of the matter.
Geothermal Consumes Electricity
The nominal electricity consumed by a geothermal system is utilized only to power the heat pump compressor, circulation pumps and blower. Heat produced by a geothermal system is extracted from the earth by a ground heat exchanger consisting of buried tubes that continuously circulate a heat-absorbing solution. In summer, the system reverses and extracts heat from the home, dispersing it back into the earth through the ground heat exchanger.
Geothermal Requires Lots of Space
In a horizontal installation, tubing can be arranged in loops and “slinky” type configuration to reduce the required square footage. Moreover, heat exchange tubing can also be installed vertically, in a deep bore drilled into the ground. Vertical installations can be adapted to almost any size lot.
Underground Components Degrade
High-density polyethylene tubing utilized for the ground heat exchanger is typically guaranteed for 50 years or more. Because they are not exposed to weather extremes, buried components typically incur less wear and tear than surface components of a conventional A/C system.
Geothermal Heat Pumps Make Noise
All above-ground components of a geothermal system are installed indoors. Because heat is absorbed and dispersed by the buried heat exchanger, there are no noisy coil fans running.
Solar Panels and Wind Generators Are More Efficient
For every unit of energy consumed, a geothermal system returns four units of heating or cooling. Reduction in power demand of a geothermal system is equal to or up to four times greater than solar or wind.
Ask the professionals at Air Assurance for more facts about the advantages of geothermal heating and cooling.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “shanesabin/Shutterstock”