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Geothermal Heating and Cooling

May 2, 2013 | Blog

 

Geothermal Heating and Air Conditioning

Geothermal Heating and Air Conditioning uses refrigerant, within underground pipes, to transfer heat from the inside of your house to the ground or from the ground to the inside of your house, depending on whether you want to heat or cool your home. In a geothermal unit set for cooling the refrigerant absorbs the heat from the air inside your house and then the refrigerant is pumped deep down into the earth below through pipes that have been installed and there the heat is released.

The typical air conditioning unit’s refrigerant takes heat from the air in your home and moves it to the outdoors. The higher the temperatures become outside, the harder it is for the typical air conditioner to transfer heat to the outdoors. This means when it is 100 degrees outside, your air conditioner in not only working much harder because your house is absorbing more heat but the air conditioner is also much less efficient than it was when it was 85 degrees outside. The stability of the ground temperatures makes the efficiency of a geothermal unit pretty constant. As long as the pipes are dug deep enough, the outdoor air temperature does not really affect the unit’s ability to transfer heat.

There are many costs and factors that offset the energy savings. Many factors depend on the site and the size of the building. Most geothermal systems require a lot size of about a ¼ of an acre or more to install the piping. The piping installations are usually very expensive since they require digging and trenching. Should anything happen to the geothermal system, repairs that require digging would be costly as well.

Soil types can influence performance of geothermal systems. Clay and loam soils are the best, but dry sandy soils, like that found in the central valley, contains tiny air pockets and means a loss in efficiency.

The applications for geothermal systems are wide ranging. Transferring heat to the ground can be done in many ways. Engineers are coming up with new ways to accomplish that feat every day from transferring the heat to a water source such as a pond or a well, to transferring it through deeper and deeper trenches. Follow the links listed below to find out more about the possibilities of geothermal heating and air conditioning.

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