How Does Geothermal Heating Work?

October 31, 2017 9:29 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Geothermal heating systems are far better for the environment than normal heating systems, which, in one way or another, rely on the consumption of quite a lot of fossil fuels. That’s just common sense. These systems last for decades longer than normal HVAC systems, are extremely quiet, can be used for all your heating needs—including heating all your water—and finally, the technology behind geothermal heating has proven itself over 60 years of use in America. These are high-tech, elegant, quiet and efficient systems, and they’ll save you money and add lasting value to your home.

How does geothermal heating work?

Geothermal heating systems use heat pumps to capture heat from the ground and move it into your house. Heat-exchange fields are installed in the ground, consisting of looping systems of pipes carrying high-pressured antifreeze liquid (sometimes, systems just use water instead of a refrigerant or an antifreeze liquid) that captures the heat from the ground. The heat is then condensed and dispersed through your home using a geothermal heat pump. Geothermal systems are far more efficient than normal furnaces, which use controlled combustion to create heat.

The system can also work in reverse, capturing warm air in your home, and depositing it in the ground beneath your home, offering radiant floor heating in Glenwood Springs, CO.

What is the installation like?

Your installation experience depends heavily on the size of your yard. If you have a large yard, you can install a shallow in-ground heat-exchange field, but if you have a small yard, rather than doing a horizontal installation—that is, a shallow installation that takes up a relatively large amount of space—you would have to get a vertical installation, where you’d have the same amount of pipe, but it would be installed straight up and down (often as much as 300 feet down), which is more difficult and costly.

The first part of the installation is the installation of the pipes, which are set up in loops underground. The pipes are filled with refrigerant liquid (or just water in some climates) which captures heat. A geothermal heat pump is installed indoors, which condenses and disperses your heat through your home. The system doesn’t look that different from a normal furnace. In the summer, it will capture the heat from your home and return it to the ground. That’s it. Your geothermal system works according to the same principles as any normal heating/refrigerating system—just on the larger and more natural scale. Benefits of these systems include:

  • Save money: You’ll save up to 70 percent on heating and cooling costs.
  • Extremely beneficial to the environment: Installing a geothermal heating unit is the equivalent, in terms of the reduction of greenhouse gases, of removing two vehicles from the road forever.
  • Impossibly energy efficient: For every $1 you spend on energy, you get $4 to $5 worth of heat. That means, according to the normal furnace energy-efficiency rating system, that geothermal heating units are 400 to 500 percent efficient. The most efficient natural gas furnaces, by contrast, are in the high 90s.
  • Tax credits: There are tax credits available to offset the cost of installation, often as much as 30 to 40 percent of the total cost.
  • Add value to your home: Geothermal heating systems can be a great selling point if you ever put your house on the market. They guarantee lower energy costs for a lifetime.

Garrett Hansen Plumbing Inc. has been providing plumbing, heating and geothermal services since 2006. With over 30 years of experience, we offer some of the most reliable radiant floor heating in Glenwood Springs, CO and the surrounding area. All of our plumbers have master plumber licenses, and we offer free estimates and consultations. Call us today and ask about our services!

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