It might be surprising to find out that everything you need to keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer is right below your feet. Geothermal energy has been around for decades and is rising in popularity as the most energy and cost-efficient, environmentally friendly source for indoor climate control.
Geothermal also has some advantages over other green energy sources like solar and wind power. However, despite its growing popularity, many people do not yet understand what Geothermal energy is or how it works. For many, the word “geothermal” evokes images of volcanoes and geysers, but neither is involved. So let’s get to the bottom of what Geothermal power is and why it is advantageous.
How it Works
You might think of the earth as a giant battery that takes in all energy from the climate above – most importantly, the sun. The earth’s core is extremely hot molten lava and has to remain relatively constant to keep it from destabilizing. As a result, the ground farther from the surface also maintains a consistent temperature.
About 10 feet beneath the earth’s surface, the temperature remains around 12-13 degrees Celsius year-round and exchanges thermal energy between the earth and your home. The system is a heat pump and underground pipes that work like a straw, drawing in the heat.
The earth remains at the same temperature, whether there is snow on the ground or heat waves in the air. People with basements might have noticed that the temperature underground remains cooler than the rest of the house. The heat pump draws heat out of the home in the summer and pushes it back into the ground.
Geothermal provides heating and cooling options for homes. Because it is called geothermal energy, it is a common misconception that it can also provide electricity, but this is not typically the case.
The technology works with different mechanical loops to get energy from the earth. A loop of plastic pipe buried beneath the earth, filled with fluid, absorbs the heat. There are vertical or closed-loop options. These are installed by drilling boreholes and feeding in the piping.
The heat pump loop is mechanized to transfer heat around the house or absorb heat. There is also the option to have an in-home loop that can circulate hot water if the household uses geothermal for hot water in the summer for hot water tanks, swimming pools, and hot tubs.
Save Homeowners Money on Utility
Prices fluctuate with the price of oil and winter temperatures and can lead to rising and unpredictable utility costs. Geothermal systems can save homeowners around 50% – 70% on their regular monthly heating and cooling bills.
During the summer months, when the geothermal heat vent is pulling heat out of the environment to cool the home, the excess heat can be put toward heating the home’s hot water tank to create even more financial savings.
Safer and Better for the Environment
Traditional heating systems have long been the culprits of carbon monoxide leaks which endanger families.
Geothermal systems are also the best choice for the environment and climate change. Geothermal does not rely on fossil fuel sources like coal or gas, and any pollution associated with the units is very low. Also, compared to fossil fuel energy sources, Geothermal produces less carbon dioxide and toxic substances that exacerbate the greenhouse effect.
Because Geothermal energy comes from the ground’s natural climate control systems, it is an example of renewable energy. In other words, Geothermal heat and cooling sources can last billions of years.
Geothermal is also more reliable than solar or wind energy because it is always available, and there is no need to wait for a gust or a sunny day.
Basically Unnoticeable as an Appliance
Geothermal homes simply need a heating and cooling vent and the pipes that go down into the earth. There is no need for vents, radiators, heaters, window air conditioners, solar panels, wind turbines, or any other unsightly machines with this system.
Maybe best of all, residential geothermal systems are virtually silent. The main components of the heat pump will be installed underground, so there are no noisy fans pushing heat or loud air conditioning units outside or on window sills.
Adding too much noise to ambient sounds in the environment (known as noise pollution) can lead to anxiety, headaches and lack of focus. There will also be no loud outdoor unit buzzing in the summertime, which can ruin the peace of playing outside, gardening, or sitting out on the porch.
A Custom Home Should Have Cutting-Edge Energy Options
Are you looking into the best energy systems for your dream home? At Gencorp Homes Inc. we specialize in making dream homes a reality. Contact our team today to find out more about installing Geothermal with your new build.