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Geothermal HVAC Systems
One of the least known methods of heating homes is the geothermal HVAC system. A geothermal HVAC system uses a series of underground pipes to pull warmth from about six feet below ground into your home to keep your family warm even when it is frigid outside.
The transference of heat in a geothermal HVAC system is done with a heat pump, a liquid heat-exchange medium, and an air delivery or radiant heating system. These pieces help you keep your home warm using the constant temperatures from underground.
Geothermal HVAC systems utilize underground temperatures to help heat and cool your home. As seasons change, you’ll notice temperature changes outside, but underground, that change isn’t nearly as drastic due to the insulating properties of the earth. At only four to six feet below ground, temperatures are relatively consistent throughout the year.
To harness these temperatures into a heating and cooling system, a series of pipes is buried underground. This series of pipes is called an earth loop, and it is connected to an indoor handling unit. The pipe system can be placed either horizontally or vertically in the ground depending on the ground at the site.
In the winter, the water in the earth loop absorbs the heat from the ground and brings it into your home where it can be compressed to a higher temperature before being distributed throughout your home. This system is like an air conditioner working in reverse. During the summer, the system pulls heat out of your home through the earth loop and into the cooler earth.
This transference of heat doesn’t require fossil fuels to generate any heat. Electricity is used to power the unit’s fan, compressor, and pump but other than that, nature does all the work.
These are the main parts of a geothermal HVAC system:
- Heat-pump unit
- Liquid heat-exchange medium
- Air-delivery and/or radiant heating system
Why Should You Consider a Geothermal HVAC System?
Are you looking for a highly-efficiently heating and cooling system that doesn’t require much maintenance? If so, a geothermal HVAC system might be perfect for you.
To measure the efficiency of a geothermal system, experts use the coefficient of performance metric, or COP. This determines how much energy the system moves in comparison to how much it uses to do so. Most geothermal heat pump systems have COPs in the 3.0 to 5.0 range, meaning that for every unit of energy it takes to power the system, three to five units are supplied as heat into the home.
Properly installed geothermal HVAC system rarely require maintenance or service, but they can last for generations. Since the unit’s fan, compressor, and pump are all kept indoors, they are safe from the elements and hold up well. Annual coil cleaning, filter changes, and occasional checks are all that geothermal HVAC systems usually require.
Geothermal HVAC Installation and Servicing
If your old HVAC system is on its way out, this is the perfect time to start thinking about having a geothermal HVAC system installed in your home. If your home already has existing ductwork, the switch over to a geothermal system is much easier than if it didn’t have ductwork, as it would need to be put in.
Remember that there will be outdoor installation needs as well. Since the earth loop goes underground, there will be digging required in your yard for a geothermal system. This also means that the yard needs to be free of clutter and animals during installation. Due to this additional work during installation, geothermal HVAC systems are often more expensive to install than other HVAC systems, but you’ll earn the money back quickly on your heating and cooling bills.
If your geothermal system is older or doesn’t seem to be working properly, the experts at Cates can come out to your home to do a consultation of your system. Our experts can service your system or replace it, if necessary. Most of the repairs that will need to be performed on a geothermal system will be on the indoor components, so repeated digging in the yard most likely won’t be necessary on a well-installed system.
Cates Heating and Cooling services the Kansas City Metro Area 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you have an HVAC emergency, give us a call right away at 913-888-4470. Our HVAC experts can help you determine if a geothermal HVAC system is right for your home. If you are interested in a geothermal HVAC system, we’d be happy to come out and give you an estimate.
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