Although the first geothermal heating pump wasn’t used in America until the 1940’s, geothermal technology has been around for centuries. From spa treatments in Imperial China to Native American cooking, geothermal heating has helped improve human lives for thousands of years. Considering the benefits of geothermal heating, it’s no surprise that this ancient technology is gaining popularity.
Is Geothermal Heating right for your home?
Geothermal heating installation comes with an initial investment, but could be suitable for your home in the long run. These systems are widely used in Iceland and New Zealand, and are becoming more common within the United States.
Cost efficacy and clean energy are only two of the benefits that geothermal heating has to offer. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency confirms these systems are “the most energy-efficient, environmentally clean, and cost-effective space conditioning systems available.”
What is Geothermal Heating?
Geothermal heating is a system that uses underground thermal energy to keep a home at a comfortable temperature year-round. The technology behind it is a complex structure, but it has three main parts: the geothermal heat pump, the distribution system, and the geothermal loop.
A geothermal heat pump sits inside a home, and contains many of the system’s important elements. The distribution system is a pipe system that moves hot or cool air throughout a home. Beneath the ground, the geothermal loop is the pipe system that circulates heat.
How does Geothermal Heating work?
Geothermal heating works by redirecting heat back and forth using the air inside your home, and the earth beneath it. In the winter, it warms your home by pulling hot air up from the ground. During the summer, it cools your home by dragging heat down into the earth.
The earth absorbs 47% of the sunlight it receives, and stores it in the ground as energy. While we’re lucky enough to enjoy four seasons and varying temperatures throughout the year, the temperature below ground remains relatively stagnant. Beginning around ten feet within Earth’s crust, the temperature stays at a consistent 50-60 °F. This steady heat reserve provides the thermal energy required to make the system work.
The benefits of geothermal heating
Geothermal heating systems boast many benefits. They are cost-effective, offer comfort, and are environmentally friendly.
Almost no other heating system offers lower operating costs. They can save up to 60% more money compared to other systems. Since most of the parts required for geothermal installation are inside the home, they are protected from outdoor weather conditions. This means that they’re relatively safe from potential damages caused by rain, hail, and other inclement weather. This leads to lower repair and maintenance costs.
The average life expectancy of a geothermal heating system is nearly double the expectancy of conventional heating units. You won’t have to worry about potential system replacement until well into the future. Geothermal systems are dual-purpose HVAC systems capable of heating and cooling your home. You won’t need to purchase other systems like fans or air conditioning units once summer rolls around.
You’ll also enjoy supplemental water heating. Excess heat created during unit operation can be used to supplement a home’s water heater. In other words, free hot water!
Geothermal heating systems provide appropriate temperatures year-round, which ensures constant comfort. They’re also relatively quiet and won’t disrupt your day with excessive noise. Geothermal heating systems are quieter than most traditional air conditioning units. They use fully insulated, heavy-duty cabinets to keep operation noise to a minimum. A system in working order shouldn’t produce more than a low hum. Geothermal heating eliminates safety issues that arise in other systems. Geothermal heating does not require combustion to work, so there is no need to worry about fire hazards or carbon monoxide poisoning.
Geothermal energy is clean, renewable, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. It is estimated that within the United States, “roughly 40 percent of the nation’s overall power consumption goes toward heating and cooling our homes, offices, and institutions”. The use of geothermal technology lowers this percentage. Further, these systems are energy independent; they reduce the need for the importation of fossil fuels and eliminate the energy usage required for fuel transportation. These factors combine to reduce our overall carbon footprint and help preserve the planet for future generations.
Still not sure if geothermal heating is right for you? We can talk you through the geothermal heating installation process or suggest options that better suit your needs. If you are seeking eco-friendly heating and cooling options in Indianola, Carlisle, Norwalk, and surrounding Iowa communities, consider the passionate experts at Indianola Mechanical. No matter what heating and cooling systems are right for you, our friendly team is happy to assist.