Geothermal heating operates on the same principal as an air heat pump, moving heat from one place to another to increase energy efficiency. It does this by siphoning heat from underground to heat the house. Let’s start by taking a look at what makes up a geothermal heat pump.
The main part of a geothermal unit is the pump itself. This pump is usually located in a basement or a garage, similar to any other heating system. The pump possesses both heating and cooling capabilities. It uses these to adjust the temperature of the subterranean thermal energy it collects before circulating it throughout the house using a duct system. Mechanically, the unit itself operates much the same way as any other heat pump. What makes a geothermal heat pump truly unique is its source of thermal energy.
A geothermal system begins by digging a trench approximately ten feet down. This is the depth at which underground temperature is more or less constant. Trenches are usually dug in large rectangles, but if space is limited they can be dug vertically. Tubes are then installed in the trench. These tubes can carry either air or water as the medium for absorbing thermal energy. Then, the tubes are connected to the central unit and the trench is filled in.
What makes geothermal heating one of the most efficient heating systems is the consistent, renewable subterranean thermal energy it utilizes. Once you get around ten feet underground, the temperature remains close to 54 degrees, regardless of season or weather conditions. When an air-based system attempts to heat a house, it has to pit itself against whatever the air temperature is currently. This could easily get into the single digits, depending on where you live. The colder the temperature, the longer it will take for the heating system to reach the target temperature. When a geothermal system heats a house, it only needs to heat the air from 54 degrees. This spares the geothermal unit from having to work as hard as other systems, making it more efficient.
If you are interested in upgrading to a geothermal heating system, call AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning. We’ll cover the entire Crestwood area.