Geothermal Heating & Cooling
The benefits of geothermal energy in the form of heating and cooling has been discovered by thousands of people worldwide who swear by the comfort it provides and the simplicity of its operation. Geothermal energy has proven themselves over the decades and several manufacturers and many contractors provide the competition you need to ensure quality installation and service at a fair price.
A Geothermal heat pump is used to harness geothermal energy from inside the earth to heap our homes or to use that heat for industrial purposes. Geothermal heat pumps are built on the same basic premise as regular heat pumps. The difference is that the geothermal type draws heat from the earth instead of from outdoor air. The heat from the earth is considered to be stable and even. In addition to providing heating for your home, this type of energy can also provide air conditioning and in most cases, hot water.
In the winter, this process is reversed. The heat pump extracts heat from the relatively warm ground, usually warmer than the outdoor cold air, and pumps this heat into the conditioned space. This natural form of heating can also help improve humidity control by maintaining about 50% relative indoor humidity, making geothermal heat pumps very helpful in humid climates.
Geothermal cooling is a process by which shallow ground is utilized within a system to regulate temperature. By creating an earth loop of piping through the area outside your home, under the frost line, you can use this for cooling your home. During the summer you will remove the heat from your home and distribute it back into the earth loop outside your home.
In the summer, the heat pump extracts heat from the conditioned space and sends it out to the earth loop to warm the relatively cool ground, or pond. This stable temperature is harnessed, using a geothermal device, to draw heat energy out of a system and thus transfer the cool temperatures into a warmer area.
The concept is a very simple one and has been around for many years. But, the technology we use now has provided us with the ability to use this system of heating and cooling your home efficiently and easily so that you have a virtually maintenance free and very low cost comfort system. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that approximately 50,000 geothermal cooling devices are installed in homes and businesses each year. The components inside the geothermal cooling pump last for roughly 25 years, while the copper or polyethylene loop placed in the ground has a lifespan of 50 years.
The main advantage of geothermal heating and cooling is that it does not use fuel or chemicals to regulate the temperature. Central air conditioning devices use materials that can be harmful to the environment. They also create carbon emissions that pollute the atmosphere. With the average home producing 5,550 tons of emissions each year according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, geothermal cooling is a viable option to cut greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining a comfortable home environment.
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