How Geothermal Home Heating Systems Work

When people talk about energy efficiency and saving money while heating homes, the most popular thing that comes to mind is solar power. Yes, it's true that it is the most sought after alternative source of heating at home these days, but it doesn't mean it's the only option homeowners have. While solar power is an energy solution found "above," there's another one that's found "below."

Geothermal Home Heating, Anyone?

By definition, it is an electrically powered heating (and cooling) system that has the ability to transfer heat between your house and the earth below it using fluid that's circulated through long loops and series of underground pipes. There will be an indoor heat pump that utilizes the conventional refrigeration cycle, or evaporation, compression, condensation, and expansion, the purpose of which is to capture and then disburse the heat from and then to the ground in order to both warm the house during the winter season and cool it during summer.


Geothermal heat pumps are remarkably efficient heating systems. What they provide is clean and quiet heating while making sure you're successfully cutting utility bills by even up to sixty percent. It's more like a lifetime and sustainable energy supply that doesn't need a lot of money for operation and maintenance.

In theory, a geothermal heat pump will work basically like a conventional heat pump. Therefore, it uses high pressure refrigerants to capture and then move heat between indoors and out. But the difference is that the traditional systems are going to obtain heat and then get rid of the same through the outside air. On the other hand, a geothermal system will transfer the heat using long loops of pipe filled with liquid in the ground.

You may already know that conventional heat pumps (air source) will have a difficult time scavenging heat from a very cold and freezing winter air or maybe to dump it to summer swelter. But the geothermal system has this very simple and easy job of extracting and then disbursing the heat through the liquid that's circulating in the ground loop. So what actually happens below the ground is that one kilowatt-hour of electricity used is able to product almost 12,000 BTUs of heating. For a standard heat pump to product the same BTUs, it'll need at least 2.2 kilowatt-hours.

An amazing advantage of this type of heating alternative for homes is the fact that there is no longer a need for an outdoor fan for moving air through the compressor coils. Thus, there's no more annoying noise, too. Geothermal units function by way of pumping liquid so as for them to be placed indoors and completely safe from exposure to the different outside elements. The minimum warranty you get from a geothermal heat pump is ten years.

The Case for Lower Costs and Tax Incentives

In spite of the numerous benefits and advantages of geothermal home heating systems, it's kind of unfortunate to hear that only less than fifty thousand units were installed last year in the United States. That's quite a small number compared to about a million conventional heat pumps installed in the same year. One reason for is perhaps people think about all the "requirements" to be met before being able to ideally install one at home. For instance, there will be a need for a lot of pipes. The house should also be on a big lot to make room for the burying of the pipes. Overall, most people would think it's just too costly or expensive to have one installed.

We do admit that the price of installation is a bit high. However, the substantial investment you will need to endure will be paid back in the shortest time possible. That's because geothermal systems are very energy efficient that you don't really have to literally spend on anything once they start running. If you find a very reliable installer who happens to be quite knowledgeable in heating and cooling homes, then you'd recoup the costs in no time. As a matter of fact, you may even avail of the tax incentives your state or utility company provides for using this highly efficient and sustainable source of heating at home.

Today, everyone is aware of the rising costs of energy for heating and cooling our homes. While the usual and old reliable sources like oil and natural gas are there, there's nothing wrong in knowing, exploring, and even contemplating on switching to new and more sustainable resources, and one of the most practical options today is geothermal home heating system.

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