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Before Choosing Geothermal Energy in This Climate, Consider This

Posted on April 3, 2014

Geothermal heat pumps are known to be an efficient heating option for your home, delivering as much as 60% more heat than energy consumed. Your local climate, however, can change just how effective a geothermal heat pump is. Make sure you do your homework before choosing geothermal energy for your residence.

How Geothermal Heat Pumps Work

Unlike geothermal energy, which uses underground reserves of hot water and steam to rotate turbines for energy creation, geothermal heat pumps don’t create energy. This energy-saving device works to reduce in-home energy consumption by routing existing ground source heat into your home.

In warmer temperatures the geothermal heat pump system works in reverse, collecting heat from your home and transferring it into the ground. In some cases excess heat removed from the home can be rerouted to water supplies, saving even more energy. On average, geothermal heat pumps reduce a home’s energy use by 30 to 60 percent when compared to traditional HVAC systems.

These specialized heat pumps use refrigeration liquid pumped through underground pipes to collect ground-source heat — generally between 45 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit — which is then delivered into the home. An evaporator keeps the average temperature of the liquid running through the ground pipes lower than the average temperature of heat sources.

Vapor, coming from the evaporator, is compressed to a higher temperature and pressure inside the compressor, which is powered by an electric motor before it passes into the condenser where useful heat is extracted. The various types of pipe loops can be fitted horizontally or vertically underground.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has noted that geothermal heat pumps are among the most energy-efficient and environmentally friendly heating and cooling systems on the market, saving consumers on their energy bills in the process.

Geothermal heat pumps become less effective when used in cooler climates, where ground temperatures are lower than warmer areas. When installing a system in your home, ensure that the energy savings outweigh purchase and maintenance costs.

Converting to geothermal energy is easy with expert advice and professional installation. Contact Comfort Systems for more information in the Wichita, Kansas area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Wichita, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about geothermal energy and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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