Geothermal Heating & Cooling
What is Geothermal Heating and Cooling:
Heating and cooling expenses can add up to a significant amount of your monthly household budget, and you can’t go without them. Even if you can get by, without having air conditioner in the summer, having your heat on in the winter is necessary for survival. Average household heating bill ranges from $150-250 per month (if we exclude the winter of 2007-2008, when oil broke the $100 barrier and kept on rising well into the summer). Over a six months heating period, you can expect to spend $900 – 1500 or more on your heating bill, and you have to keep in mind that oil prices are very volatile and will be rising as soon as we get out of recession. Gas prices usually follow the trend of oil prices. Home cooling bills for an average household can range anywhere from $100 – $300 per months, which adds another $600-900 per season.
Now imagine that you could heat and cool your house for only a fraction of that cost … actually only about 25% or 25 cents on a dollar. With Geothermal Heating and Cooling system, you can!
But of course there is a catch – geothermal is expensive to install, and there are only few trained, certified and experienced geothermal heating contractors, so it’s hard to find right people for the job.
Our goal is to educate homeowners and property managers about the benefits of Geothermal Heating and Cooling and help you choose the right equipment and geothermal contractor for your home, as well as provide some handy DIY geothermal information if you feel that you can do it yourself.
Why Geothermal and What are the benefits/advantages of Ground Source Heat?
Geothermal energy is one of the cheapest renewable energy sources available today, and is on par with Hydro energy and thermal mass. Geothermal energy is used mostly in heating and cooling applications, but can also be used to produce electrical power. We will concentrate on Geothermal Heating and Cooling as that is the most “available” use of geothermal energy for homeowners and small businesses, apartment complexes, etc, while geothermal power plants are more of an industrial size and regular Joe the homeowner will not be installing a power plant in his backyard.
What is geothermal energy?
Geothermal energy energy is power extracted from the earth using the heat exchange process with geothermal heat pumps. Because the earth temperature at the below freeze depth, is more or less constant, the heat pump can extract heat or cold (depending on the season and what you need). Energy consumption of a geothermal heat pumps used in the extraction process uses only a fraction of its energy output. Geothermal energy is available everywhere, and it is available day and night. Whether it’s cloudy outside, raining, snowing or bright and sunny – your geothermal heating and cooling system will work, and will make your home comfortable, so long as there is electricity to operate the heat pump.
How Does Geothermal Heating and Cooling System Work?
To extract geothermal energy from the earth, a special geothermal heat pump is used. The energy is delivered to the heat pump by circulating special anti-freeze like fluid through the ground heat exchange cables/coils (PEX tubing) buried in the ground – either in form of loops at an average of 6-7 feet below ground or in a 300-400 feet deep well drilled into the ground. A less common way to get geothermal energy is to through the loops of PEX tubing into a non-freezing river or lake / pond and to extract hydro-thermal energy (I’m not sure if that is actually a scientific term, but you get the point) for the water reservoir.
Once the circulating liquid passes through the heat pump, the ground source energy is extracted from it by using the difference between the temperature in the ground and the required temperature.