If there is one thing every homeowner and tenant has in common, it’s the power bills they receive that fluctuate almost monthly. It seems like the weather goes from one extreme to the other just when you think you can let your HVAC unit relax. There are several ways to conserve energy with traditional units, but they’ve all got their limits. So, what if there was some type of heating unit that supplied you with a comfortable temperature from a heating/cooling source that stayed constant throughout the year?
Geothermal heat pumps offer exactly that. Sometimes referred to as GeoExchanging, these pumps use the temperature of underground soil or water to heat and cool your home. The idea is that the temperature underground stays between 45 degrees F and 75 degrees F, and is cooler than the air in the summer time and warmer than the air in the winter. These systems consist of 3 main parts: the heat exchanger, the heat pump itself, and the air delivery system. A fluid, typically water, is pumped through the system, which collects heat or disperses it depending on the time of year.
There are four types of systems that accomplish this goal.
- Horizontal – the horizontal closed-loop system requires you to dig out a trench in at least a 4×6 foot area of surface. Its name is derived from the layout. Horizontal systems tend to be smaller and more cost-effective for personal use.
- Vertical – for vertical systems, the holes are drilled with less surface space in mind, so they travel deeper into the ground. These are prominently used for commercial space where land might be more scarce.
- Bodies of Water – homes with a large enough water source can run pipes underground to act as a source of heat. The pipes wrap in a coil to prevent them from freezing. Although the body of water must meet certain size requirements, this is the cheapest option out of the bunch.
- Open-Loop System – probably the least common system, an open-loop system uses an open source of water as the fluid that runs through the system to make the heat exchange. The water must be clean, pass local code and regulation, and there must be a large enough supply to work with.
So, if you’re looking at ways to become more environmentally friendly, or chip away at your electric bill, consider a geothermal pump from companies like Greensleeves Energy Solutions. They’re much more effective at cooling your house and use considerably less energy since the heat comes from a natural source.