With concerns about rising energy prices and the environment, people are searching for alternative energy sources to heat and cool their homes. You may have heard something about geothermal energy, but not enough to fully understand its potential, and have wondered what is geothermal energy used for and is it right for you. If you know nothing about geothermal energy before, then you may be surprised to hear that it’s a renewable energy source that is just waiting to be harnessed below the surface of your yard.
Harnessing the Earth’s Power
Dig or drill a few feet below the ground and you’ll find that the temperature remains between 50 to 60 degrees throughout the year. This is regardless of what type of weather may be happening above the Earth’s surface, whether it’s frigid cold or sweltering heat. You can take advantage of those constant temperatures to help keep your home at a constant comfortable temperature by having a geothermal heat pump installed.
How Does a Geothermal Heat Pump Work?
There are three main parts to a geothermal heat system:
1. Heat sink and tubing. This component is installed below the ground. The installer will drill into the ground in your yard to install the heat sink and the loop of tubing that will be filled with antifreeze, water or a mixture of the two. The liquid will be circulated throughout the heat pump system.
2. Heat pump. Using heat transfer, the heat pump will transfer the heat energy absorbed by the liquid in the tubing back and forth between the inside of your home and the outdoors. For example, when the unit is set to cooling, the liquid will absorb the heat in the air inside your home and sent it outside where it will dissipate. When set to heating, the process is reversed.
3. Heat distributor. Similar to a blower motor that you may now have in your furnace, this component distributes the warmed or cooled air through your ductwork so that it can be spread throughout your home.
An added benefit is that you could choose to have an additional component called a desuperheater installed that takes the leftover heat produced by the heat pump and acts as a hot water heater.
Call us to learn whether geothermal is right for your home. Our experts are ready to explain what is geothermal energy used for and its benefits.