With so many heating and cooling solutions on the market, sometimes you need a little guidance. Geothermal heating has been around since the 1940s, but it has been gaining traction recently for its renewable energy source and extreme efficiency.
What Are Geothermal Heating Solutions?
Geothermal heat pumps, or Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHPs), are systems that use heat energy from the ground to cool and heat your home. Because the temperature of the earth stays consistent in relation to the air’s temperature, GSHPs can use the ground as either a heat sink or heat source.
Although there are various sub-systems, all geothermal heat pumps have some common parts. Namely, a system to transfer the heat exchange liquid down and back, a pump to move this liquid, and a delivery system. The key differences come with different styles of loops.
GSHPs rely on a system of connected underground pipes to use as heat exchangers. The coils and refrigerant in these pipes will absorb the ground’s heat in the winter and deliver it to your home. This process is reversed in the summer, and it pulls the heat from the building but delivers it to the ground.
This underground loop connects to the geothermal heat pump. It contains a pump, compressor and air handler unit for heating, but this is optional.
Essentially, every system’s name relates to the layout of the heat exchangers. There are closed, open, horizontal, vertical, slinky and pond loops. Each loop has its own purpose.
Open-loop designs continually refresh the refrigerant and rely on an underground aquifer or a freshwater lake for refrigerant. Closed-loop systems are the most common. They keep water and refrigerant in the heat exchange coils to work as the heat exchanging medium. This system does not refresh the liquid continuously, and can also be defined by the orientation of the loop.
Horizontal loops exist in a horizontal orientation and they’re only about 3-10 feet underground. This system is best for homes with a large amount of ground available for digging. Vertical loops are vertically oriented and they sit up to 400 feet below ground. This system is better for smaller plots of land.
Slinky loops have pipes laid in coil formations in shallow trenches. This is great for homeowners who want a horizontal loop but do not have the space available. We can use pond loops when there is a suitable water source to submerge the system in. This means that there is no digging or drilling required, and it is easy to remove the loop if needed.
What Geothermal System Is Best For Your Home?
Shallow ground in the United States keeps a pretty constant temperature through the year. Therefore, geothermal heat pumps can go almost anywhere, but there are a few factors that determine what ground loop is best for your home.
- Geology, or the composition of your soil, will determine what kind of piping your loop will need. Soil with better heat transference will require less piping for heating.
- Land layout, like the amount of land, landscaping and any underground utilities will contribute to your system’s design.
- Hydrology, the properties of the groundwater on your land, will help determine if you’ll need an open- or closed-loop system. Factors like volume, water quality and depth of water will help here.
A trusted geothermal heat pump company can confidently survey your land and help you choose which system is best for you!
Benefits Of Geothermal Heating
A geothermal heat pump also has some major advantages, like the fact that they use between 25 and 50 percent less energy than other heating and cooling systems. So, despite a higher upfront cost, this system will save you money on your electricity bills. In about 6-7 years, this system will have paid for itself. GSHPs also last at least 20 years, so you have years of savings ahead.
Plus, there are federal tax credits available for homes with geothermal systems, and most states offer rebates or grants, too. This seriously helps to offset the cost of your new geothermal system.
Another benefit of geothermal heating solutions is that they allow for zoned cooling spaces. So if you prefer your bedroom to be cooler than your living room, it’s possible with this air system!
GSHPs are also very flexible in installation. They can fit with your old or new home, and they also take up less space than typical HVAC systems. It also helps that this system doesn’t have any outdoor condensing units, and there’s very little noise from a two-speed system.
Should You Get A Geothermal System?
Aside from the upfront cost, there really aren’t any drawbacks to this system! All heating solutions have their downfalls, but the eco-friendly, low-maintenance, cost effective and versatile design of GSHPs make them an excellent choice.
And even if you aren’t ready to fully commit to a geothermal solution, it can still work as a supplemental system. It will just depend on your personal situation and requirements, but geothermal heat pumps are an excellent option.
Geothermal Heating In College Station
Are you interested in finding out more about your personalized Brazos Valley geothermal solutions? It’s time to call Barker’s Heating and Cooling! We help Texas homeowners find the best system for their home, and it doesn’t stop at geothermal heat pumps.
Call us today and start your geothermal heating journey.