About Geothermal

Geothermal refers to a technology that uses the earth's energy to provide a heat source for heating and cooling commercial buildings and houses. At a depth of about 6 feet below ground, the ground provides a constant temperature of about 8 degrees celsius, which provides warmth in the winter and cooling in the summer. A series of pipes are buried in the ground with a liquid inside that absorbs the heat and circulates to and from the heating and cooling unit inside the house.

You may also hear the term heat exchange used in conjunction with a geothermal system. A heat pump that is inside the house uses the warmth from the liquid inside the closed loop pipes, and a compressor increases the temperature further to keep the house at the desired temperature. Some heat pump systems will also heat domestic hot water and can provide air conditioning in the summer. If your house has some rooms with radiant floor heating, geothermal is a cost effective method of providing the heat source.

Depending on the available land adjacent to the house, the piping can run in a vertical or horizontal configuration. The total length of piping required is determined by square footage of the house, amongst other things.

Horizontal Loop system

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Vertical Loop system

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Geothermal saves you money on Heating Costs
With the rising cost of oil, propane and natural gas, geothermal will save you incremental money as time goes on. The heat source is the earth's energy which is unlimited and FREE once your system is installed. You can also use geothermal to partially heat your domestic hot water, and boost the temperature further with a hot water heater.

Heating Cycle
During the heating cycle, the fluid circulates through the loop extracting heat from the ground. The heat energy is transferred to the geothermal unit. The unit compresses the extracted heat to a high temperature and delivers it to your home through a normal duct system or radiant heat system

Cooling Cycle
When you want air conditioning in the hot summer months, your geothermal unit does this reverse process. By drawing heat from the house and sending it back out through the pipes, the hot air is absorbed back into the earth and replaced with cooler temperatures, which recirculate back into the house. This is similar to how a refrigerator works.

Take a look at this video which explains how it works

 

More on "An Inconvenient Truth" and how Geothermal helps the environment