Whether you heard it from your local Atlanta HVAC company, your neighbor bragging about low utility bills or from somewhere else, you’ve likely encountered the term “geothermal HVAC system” at some point in time. If so, there’s a good chance you found yourself wondering, “what in the world is a geothermal HVAC system?!” Well, we’re here to help you understand, so that you can decide for yourself whether a geothermal HVAC system is the right choice for you!
What is a Geothermal HVAC system?
Unlike the temperature fluctuation that occurs daily and seasonally above ground, the temperature underneath the earth’s surface remains at a moderate and consistent temperature year round. Geothermal systems use electricity to access these temperatures, to either heat or cool your home. Water is used as a medium to transfer this heat between the ground and your home.
In the winter, a geothermal system absorbs the heat from underground and transfers this heat into your home. In summer, a geothermal system absorbs the heat in your home, transfers that heat back into the earth, and then returns cooler temperatures back into your home
How is a Geothermal HVAC system beneficial?
Geothermal HVAC systems benefit the homeowner most directly, by drastically increasing energy efficiency, resulting in a significantly lower utility bill. Studies from the EPA have shown that homeowners will see a reduction of thirty to forty percent in heating and cooling costs.
More importantly, a geothermal system utilizes the stored energy from underground, rather than burning fossil fuels as a source of energy. Therefore, geothermal systems are sustainable, and emit far less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than a traditional fossil fuel system.
How are Geothermal HVAC systems installed?
The two primary components of a geothermal HVAC system are the heat pump and the loop field. The heat pump is the unit in your home that is responsible for transferring the heat between the ground and your home. The loop field is the underground pipe system that allows us to absorb heat from beneath the surface.
Most loop fields are closed, which means that the water and antifreeze mixture is constantly recycled through the system, and never escapes. An open system uses groundwater, rather than water added to the pipe system during installation. This water is extracted directly from the source, and is eventually sent back underground through a return well.
Vertical loop fields are most common on small properties where space is limited. To install a vertical loop field, several holes are drilled that are typically between fifty and four-hundred feet. Piping is fed down the holes, connected in a loop pattern, and then attached to the heat pump in your home.
Horizontal loop fields are typically installed in areas with a lot of available space. The piping is looped in very long and shallow trenches rather than deep vertical holes, and then attached to your heat pump, as with a vertical loop field. This is usually less expensive because no drilling is necessary. Both vertical and horizontal loop fields can typically be installed in one to two days.
Pond loop fields are an alternative to vertical or horizontal loop fields. Pipes are laid in shallow trenches, that extend to a nearby lake or pond, and are connected to coils which lye at the bottom of the body of water. The coils utilize the temperature at the bottom of the body of water to heat or cool your home.
Geothermal HVAC systems can considerably lower your heating and cooling costs, and are a sustainable alternative to conventional fossil fuel systems that are harmful to the environment. Call Anytime Heating, Cooling and Plumbing to speak with an HVAC representative who can help you determine if installing a geothermal HVAC system is the right choice for you!