Geothermal Cooling And Heating — How It Works And Your Installation Options
Posted on June 7, 2012
Want to save money, save energy and save the environment? Then a geothermal cooling and heating system may be for you.
How Geothermal Works
A geothermal cooling and heating systems uses heat pump technology to transfer heat between the inside of a house and some outdoor source. Heat pumps work similarly to standard air conditioning systems: an air conditioner absorbs heat from inside your home and releases that heat outdoors. A heat pump does the same thing during the summer, but can reverse that process during the winter to absorb heat outdoors and release it indoors.
Of course, there are difficulties with trying to absorb heat outdoors during the cold of winter, or releasing heat during Wichita’s hot summers. Geothermal cooling and heating gets around this problem by exchanging heat with the soil deep underground. That soil remains at a constant temperature of about 50-55 degrees year-round, which makes it quite easy for a heat pump to maintain a comfortable room temperature.
To exchange heat with the ground, a geothermal cooling and heating system circulates a water-antifreeze solution through long loops of buried pipe. These loops can be installed in different ways, depending on the specifics of your home and yard.
- Horizontal loops extend horizontally below the soil’s surface, and are best for new construction or homes with large yards.
- Vertical loops extend deep into the ground in drilled shafts. They have the advantage of requiring very little surface area.
- Pond/lake loops are placed in an adjacent pond or lake. If such water is available, they can save you money on digging costs.
- Open loops draw clean groundwater from a well, and use the water table itself as the main part of the loop.
To learn more about geothermal cooling and heating, or to determine which installation option will work best for your Kansas home, contact the experts at Comfort Systems. We’ll be happy to help.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about geothermal and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.