Like hydronic heating systems, the geothermal heating system concept is becoming increasingly popular as many people are now looking for more environmentally friendly, energy-efficient ways to keep their homes warm. These solutions are also referred to as ground source heat pumps, and harness renewable energy to help keep your home’s indoor temperature comfortable, right round the year.
So, how exactly does the geothermal system work? Will it be a suitable for your heating needs? Here is some information that will help you get a better understanding of this system.
Understanding What Geothermal Heating Is
Geothermal heating harnesses the heat energy present just a few feet underneath the earth’s surface, converting it into warm air using geothermal heat pumps. These are also called ground, earth-coupled, or water-source pumps or GeoExchange pumps, and a small amount of electricity is used to drive them. They are one of the most efficient ways to heat a home. Incidentally, this system can also be used to cool your home during the summer months.
A geothermal heat pump will replace your polluting, inefficient, expensive, gas furnace, while serving as an air conditioner. Some systems also have the functionality to operate your hot water heater at almost no additional costs.
Is Geothermal Heating Available Only In Specific Locations?
A common misconception about this form of heating is that it isn’t available in all geographical locations. Areas near tectonic plate boundaries (close to frequent volcanic activity) have higher outputs of geothermal energy. These regions often have utility-scale geothermal-based electric power plants. However, residential properties anywhere can use a geothermal system to heat their home, with very few emissions and at a low cost.
Geothermal Heating System- How Does It Work?
Let’s look at the working of this system. The earth’s surface consistently absorbs about 50% of the sun’s energy. The radioactive decaying of minerals and this absorbed heat produces geothermal energy. In some geothermal systems, groundwater is the heat source. Instead of the liquid being circulated in the closed pipes, an open loop circulates the groundwater into the pump, transferring the geothermal energy.
In a residential geothermal system, pipes full of liquid are buried several feet below the ground in your yard or driveway. The liquid within the pipes absorbs the trapped heat energy, transferring it to the system’s pump installed in your basement. The removes all the heat from this liquid and transports it to various areas of your home just as traditional furnaces do, via their forced-air ductwork. This type of heating system uses very little electricity and it doesn’t burn fossil fuels, making it four times more efficient compared to a conventional furnace.
How Geothermal Heating Can Work for You
Many people find the slightly higher upfront costs of installing this system to be a deterrent. However, once you retrofit an older home with this environment-friendly and energy-efficient heating system, it will prove to be worth the initial investment in the long term. This is because you save a significant amount of money on energy in your home. In addition, you benefit from emission cuts and the system can increase your property’s resale value.
However, that isn’t all. You can also integrate your geothermal heating system with other existing systems in your home for heating and cooling purposes. This becomes an additional advantage of using this innovative technology, creating further efficiencies.
If you are planning to install this heating system in your home, discuss your requirements with experts in the field. They will survey your property, understand your needs, and offer recommendations on how the system installation should take place and it can be a value-addition to your residential property.