Geothermal Heating More Cost-Effective
People looking for cost-effective and durable heating and cooling systems for their homes normally turn to the geothermal system. Because of its energy efficiency, this
type of heating system is popularly used in many homes, businesses and schools. Geothermal originally comes from two words – “geo” meaning earth and “thermal” meaning heat. With this, a geothermal system thereby utilizes the earth’s huge supply of heat in the soil.
Geothermal heating systems are also known as ground-source
heat pumps that draw a steady supply of heat energy from the soil and move it through a home or building. The three major benefits of this type of system are its energy efficiency, low cost and ability to lessen pollution. The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) in the U.S. says a geothermal heat pump can save homeowners 30 to 70 percent on heating and from 20 to 50 percent in cooling costs over the traditional systems.
Ground-source heat pumps generally move heat using a network of tubes called “closed loops.” These loops (vertical or horizontal) contain either water, refrigerant or an anti-freeze solution which run through the ground and absorb the earth’s energy to deliver heating and cooling directly to the house via
heat exchangers. Once the liquid is heated, they are pumped back through the system into the house. After passing through the home and transferring its energy, it goes back to the loop system and the process is repeated. During summer, the system works in reverse mode to provide cool air to homes.
There are primary and secondary loops that play major roles in geothermal heating systems. Cheaper plastic tubing can be used for secondary loops as they are not pressurized and require the use of less refrigerant which are expensive.
Meanwhile, the energy efficiency of ground-source heat pumps is highly valuable to many homeowners. Firstly, they can reduce the use of electricity by up to 70 percent compared to the traditional systems. Secondly, they utilize to its fullest advantage the thermodynamic of a heat transfer fluid. This allows the ground-source heat pump to provide more heat energy output. Thirdly, being able to work on a cooling mode during the summer makes the pump more energy efficient for cooling compared to a regular air conditioning unit. Additionally, when a desuperheater is installed, a ground-source heat pump can move energy to a hot water tank thereby providing free hot water to homeowners both in the summer and winter seasons.
Cost-wise, although a ground-source heating system may initially cost you thousands of dollars, the long-term benefits should be a priority. In fact, it can serve your needs from 20 to 30 years with less maintenance. And once installed, homeowners can enjoy lower monthly energy bills for a long time.
Geothermal heating dates back to the Roman era when Romans used the system in heating their buildings and spas. During that time, they used hot water and hot steam sources found near the earth’s surface. By using this system known as geothermal district heating, it is possible to distribute hot water or steam to several buildings. This same method has long been utilized in other parts of the world.
See how geothermal heating works.
Pros and Cons of Geothermal Heating
Disadvantages of Geothermal Heating