Working and Benefits of Geothermal Heating
Are you looking for energy efficient, more eco-friendly temperature regulators for your home?
Geothermal heating solutions offer convenient and productive temperature control for homeowners.
Generally, these are available in the market as geothermal pumps and cooling & heating systems. They
keep your house warm and comfortable.
What is Geothermal Energy?
Geothermal energy is heat captured or extracted from deep inside the earth’s crust. We use it to track
the temperature in homes, offices, and industries. This renewable and pure form of energy is available
in different extraction sources including mines, underground channels, etc. As part of sustainable
development, energy conservation, and a greener environment, most nations across the globe are
making use of this purified energy source to reduce their dependence on other sources of energy like
Geothermal Heating Pumps
Geothermal pumps offer high efficiency. Because manufacturers design them only to transport cool
fluid or heat and push it toward the ground. They regulate the temperature in your home. Since
geothermal energy mostly depends on the temperatures in underground channels, the pump pushes
this energy to bring it above ground level that helps set the temperature to your desired reading. You
might think of geothermal pumps as recently introduced gadgets in the market. On the contrary, these
have been in use for decades. Almost 50,000 US homes install these heating and cooling systems every
year. This is evident as per recent stats by the US Department of Energy.
Different Types of Geothermal Solutions
Geothermal pumps use a ground-loop system design with the same operating dynamics. However, there
are different types of ground-loop models that you can classify into two core categories. These include
open-loop and closed-loop. The design makes use of the pump to push liquid or fluids through tubes
traversing an underground area and the surface.
Open Loop Geothermal Heating System
We do not commonly use an open-loop system for household temperature control because it is costly.
- The open-loop system requires you to have an ample source of water. Using abundant water supply, the installation works by extracting heat from a deep source like a well. The pump pushes the water through the tubes or pipes, captures the heat and then redirects the water inflow back to the well or water source. Contrary to a closed-loop system where the fluid keeps circulating throughout the system continuously, an open system only makes use of fluid circulation when you need to extract heat.
Closed Loop Geothermal Heating System
If you are looking for the most reliable and cost-effective geothermal pump, you should opt for a closed-loop system.
- Horizontal-loop models within this category are best for residential applications. Ask an expert to install a closed-loop pump in your house. It will entail installing a piping system within the surface and underground with a height of about 4-6 inches. If your pump system comes equipped with a ‘Slinky’, coiled design, then you do not need to install tubing that goes deep underground, as it requires less surface area.
- With a Vertical-loop system, the installation entails the use of uncoiled tubes looped deep within the underground channels. The implementation of this system is rather costly and requires drilling deeper holes than the trenches in a horizontal loop system. We drill these holes 100-400 feet deep in the earth’s crust. It allows the pump to transfer heat through these thinner, single tubes. If you own a small
house with less surface area to dig up a wider trench, we advise you to go for a vertical setup.
Closed Loop System – Pond/Lake
A closed-loop pond/lake system works by transferring heat extracted from the water source using antifreeze fluid and the water’s temperature.
- The water from the source passes over an evaporator copper coil and plastic pipe headers installed deep in the ground, as it pushes up towards the ground. This water-based system is the most inexpensive pumping system available to homeowners. It makes use of a deep-water source like a lake or pond. You do not need to go for costly drilling if your nearby water source is deep enough to push geothermal heat up toward the ground. It is also easier to use and install because it relies on the uniform temperature of the water to generate heat and provide temperature regulation.
Benefits of Geothermal Heating
- Cost Effective & Energy Efficient
The primary benefit of a geothermal pump is its cost-effectiveness for a long period while offering
energy conservation. We encourage homeowners to install these systems in their homes. Because, they
promote a greener, healthier environment reducing unnecessary utility bill expenses and the use of
energy resources. These pumps do not need any electricity to run compared to a traditional gas
powered furnace. According to the Department of Energy (DOE) in the US, a reliable geothermal pump
from a trusted brand can cut energy consumption by almost 25-50%, when compared to a standard
HVAC solution. While it may look expensive, there are affordable setups like closed-loop systems that
use water sources. An ideal pump that heats up a 1500 square-foot house will cost you anywhere
between $30-50 a month.
- Longer Life Span & Safety
A geothermal pump is easy to install and very safe for heating or cooling with an average lifespan of
about 2 decades. As per DOE, the infrastructure existing underground may work efficiently for up to 50
years. On the other hand, a hand pump would last even longer than 20 years with minimal upkeep &
repair expenses. These pumps are also safe because the underground pipes are protected using strong layers. There is no combustion or gas involved including any onsite emissions in the extraction or
pushing process for geothermal heating. It happens specifically if your power source is renewable
energy like hydroelectric, water or solar. This is safer for use in homes with an eco-friendly surrounding.
The Flip Side
There are a few drawbacks to the geothermal pumps but their benefits largely mask the disadvantages they offer to homeowners. These type of climate-control solutions usually require expensive installation that is a bit difficult with the underground tubes layout and infrastructure, especially for closed-loop systems. With a heavy amount invested in your geothermal pumping layout, do keep in mind that the installation may require you to regrow your garden, lawn or redo any part of the area such as the pond that you utilized in the digging process or the tubing layout. If there is any power outage, you may also have to rely on an alternative power backup to meet your heating & cooling requirements.