Choosing the right Geothermal Heating System can be a daunting task. You may not have even heard of geothermal heat until now. With all the technical jargon, you can easily get lost trying to understand it all. A geothermal heating installation contractor in Pensacola, FL, or wherever you are located, can answer your questions and install an energy-efficient system.
What is Geothermal Heating?
Geothermal heating is the use of geothermal energy for your heating applications. Geothermal heat has been around since the age of dinosaurs, and humans have been using this method of energy for nearly as long. Since there is no energy conversion with geothermal energy, thermal efficiency is high.
Geothermal energy is the only renewable energy that provides 24-hour reliable operation every day of the year. Geothermal energy uses the unlimited energy supplied by the Earth to operate a heat pump. This heat pump runs effectively and efficiently all year long, regardless of the direction your house faces.
How Geothermal Heating Works?
Geothermal heating is unique to all other forms of energy consumption. A geothermal pump uses the Earth’s energy to keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Instead of burning fuel like in most systems, A geothermal heat pump pulls heat from the ground, bringing it into your home during the winter. In the summer, a geothermal heat pump removes heat from your house, transferring it into the ground. This process is accomplished using a series of pipes installed in your yard or sunk into a pond. Using healthy, clean water could work as well.
Types of Geothermal Heating Systems?
Geothermal heat pumps come in a variety of systems. There are four types of loop systems in total, each in one of two categories. The first category is called an open loop system.
The other three types of systems are classified as closed-loop systems. These closed-loop systems are pond/lake, horizontal, and vertical. Below are descriptions of each of the four systems:
An open-loop system uses water from a well or a body of water as the heat exchange fluid. This is circulated directly through the system. Once run through the system, the water is returned to the ground.
In a closed-loop system, geothermal heat pumps move an antifreeze solution through a closed loop. This system usually uses high-density plastic tubing buried in the ground. A heat exchanger is then used to transfer heat from the refrigerant to the heat pump and the antifreeze solution within the closed loop. There are three main types of closed-loop systems:
This is the best system for saving money when doing residential installations, especially where land is abundantly available. It incorporates trenches that are a minimum of four feet long.
Used mainly in schools and commercial buildings, the amount of land needed for a horizontal system is not feasible for a residential building. These loops are also used where the soil is not deep enough to dig trenches. Holes about seven meters apart are drilled up to roughly 133 meters deep.
This system connects at the bottom with two pipes to make a loop. The vertical loops are joined to horizontal lines before being put in trenches and then connected to the building’s heat pump.
This is one of the most cost-efficient systems to install in a home. If you have ample water, then a supply line pipe can be run underground from your house into the water. The tubes get coiled up and placed at least eight feet underground, so freezing is not a factor.
Several things play into what system will best fit your needs. These factors include the soil condition in the area, the climate, the cost of installing the geothermal system, and what land is available. No matter what situation you are facing, you can use any of the systems listed above for both residential and commercial building uses.
Benefits of Geothermal Heating Systems
Geothermal heating is growing in popularity due to the benefits of installing them. Here are some of the most popular benefits:
- Always available
- Very little maintenance is needed
- It creates jobs
- It uses a small amount of space
- Quiet energy
- More energy is given versus the same nominal power option
- Allows for double recycling
- The heat from the Earth can be used to cool
In addition to providing air conditioning in the summer months and heat for the winter period, geothermal energy has many other advantages. A geothermal system can reduce overall energy consumption by up to 70%. This is due to the fact it can act as a boiler.
Several things play into what system will best fit your needs. These factors include the soil condition in the area, the climate, the cost of installing the geothermal system, and what land is available.
No matter what the conditions are near you, there will always be benefits to having a geothermal system.