||Geothermal Heating and Cooling Systems
|Geothermal heating and cooling systems, commonly
called geothermal heat pumps, are an increasing
popular, environmentally friendly way to
regulate temperature in homes and buildings.
Using the earth’s underground temperature
for a source and “sink” of heating and cooling,
these systems offer several advantages over
- Although initially more expensive to install
than convention heating/cooling
systems offer low maintenance
and less expensive
Check with your utility company since many
offer rebates and other financial incentives
for installing a geothermal systems that
can further lower the cost..
- They are low maintenance because all the
equipment is enclosed or underground and
not exposed to weather.
- They have the highest energy efficiency for
heating and cooling systems and require less
electricity, even in locations with very
hot or cold weather.
- They provide a more constant, comfortable
temperature year round, and because they
operate continuously, there are no sudden
cold or warm drafts often experienced in
Closed loop systems, where pipes are buried
in the ground vertically or horizontally,
use a food grade refrigerant that continuously
circulates between house and ground. This
refrigerant draws warmth from the earth during
cold weather to heat the home and removes
heat from the house and deposits (sinks)
it into the earth for cooling during warm
weather. A closed loop system is usually
more efficient and thus needs less buried
pipe, but if a leak occurs, the refrigerant
can pollute the environment.
Open loop systems operate like
loop systems except they circulate
as the coolant and the “sinks”
used water must be deposited)
available bodies of water (such
as a lake,
stream or large capacity well).
The two disadvantages
to open loop systems are that
they must meet
EPA and other government requirements
returning the used water into
the open body
of water and clogging of the
pipes can occur
from extraneous materials in
When choosing your system consider a unit
that is Energy Star rated since they can
provide additional operating savings.