Heat Your Home With The Warmth Of The Earth
Just a few feet underground lies all the heat homeowners need to warm their homes. Heating systems based on the use of fossil fuels have grown more efficient. However, they still rely on heating sources that can vary in supply and price according to extraction technology and political stability in other countries.
Fossil fuels such as oil and natural gas are also believed to contribute to climate change from the release of carbon into the atmosphere. Geothermal heating systems use only the fossil fuels necessary to produce the electricity needed to power the system. The heat energy comes from just a few feet below the Earth's surface, where a constant moderate temperature occurs year-round.
How do geothermal heating systems work?
A geothermal heating system consists of a pipe loop, a pump, and a heat exchanger. The pipe loop allows water to circulate from inside the home into the ground, where it is heated and pumped back into the heat exchanger inside the home. The heat exchanger extracts and concentrates the heat, which is then distributed into the home through the heating ducts.
The pipe loop may pump water that is present in an aquifer, which is an underground water source. The heated water is pumped into the home, then returned to the aquifer when the heat is extracted.
If an aquifer is not present, a closed system is used. This circulates the same water in a sealed loop of pipe, to be repeatedly warmed underground and then pumped to the surface.
What are the requirements for installing a geothermal system?
The primary requirement that may give some homeowners some hesitation is the initial cost of installing a geothermal system. Improvements have been made since earlier systems, which once required pipe loops to be installed horizontally. Horizontal loops required additional excavation and expanded land use.
New geothermal systems allow pipe loops to be installed vertically. This decreases digging costs and allows homeowners with small properties to have access to these systems.
Installing and connecting a geothermal heating system will still cost thousands of dollars, but government tax incentives and reduced heating costs will help to offset the initial expense. When the initial costs are recouped, the owner has access to an unlimited supply of low cost heat.
Additional benefits include being able to use a clean fuel source with little environmental impact and being free from volatile fossil fuel prices, which can vary dramatically with any disruption of supply. For help finding the right kind of heating system for your home, contact a company like Scott's Heating & Air Conditioning Services.