The word geothermal can be broken down into two parts. Geo, relating to the Earth, and thermal, relating to heat. It is called geothermal energy because deep within our Earth exists a molten hot rock core. The extreme heat of the Earth's thermal core acts as a furnace, powering the natural operation of our entire planet. The heat energy created from within the Earth is so extreme that it permeates throughout and accumulates in the subsurface of the planet. This is why geothermal power is such a renewable source of energy, because it naturally exists right underneath your home’s property.
How Can Geothermal Energy Heat & Cool A Home
Geothermal heat pumps, or water furnaces, have a unique mode of operation from other HVAC systems. This option for heating and cooling uses advanced technology to harmlessly extract the natural energy of the Earth to provide comfortable conditioned air for your home. Using geothermal energy for home heating and cooling is up to 45% more energy-efficient than using a standard HVAC system. Considering the fact that you can save up to 30% to 60% on your electric utility bill makes installing a geothermal heating and cooling system a very smart choice.
In order to harness this hidden source of energy, you will need to have a professional geothermal service company install a ground heat exchanger on your property. This system is made up of durable high-density polyethylene pipes installed under your yard called geothermal loops. A mixture of environmentally friendly antifreeze and water is then added to these underground pipes to give them their heat exchanging ability. The system is made complete by either installing, or by using your pre existing, ductwork to transfer air flow through your home. Your heat pump can now utilize this system of water and antifreeze filled underground geothermal loops to absorb the geothermal heat from the Earth in the winter to warm your home. In the summer, this system will keep you cool by absorbing the heat from the air inside your home and displacing it with the coolness of the ground.
Geothermal Heat Pump Installation Guide
Installing a new geothermal system is a complex process that should only be performed by certified geothermal service experts. The whole construction can take 6 - 8 weeks in order to complete from start to finish. The process of installing a new geothermal heat pump are as follows:
To start the exciting process of installing a geothermal heat pump to heat and cool your house, start by calling by calling (412) 489-4745 to schedule an appointment with our geothermal service professionals to provide you with an installation quote. Calculating the cost of installing a geothermal heat pump is determined much by the size the underground pipe, or loop, will need to be. To find this, we will conduct a home energy audit to determine the size of your house and how well insulated, or tight, your home is. If you have a large home or an older home that leaks air, you may require a more extensive geothermal loop system to accommodate these factors.
We will also need to evaluate which orientation would be best to install the loops. A vertical loop system is ideal if you don’t have much property to run a network of underground pipes across. If you have more land to work with or drilling is not a viable option, you can opt to have a horizontal loop system installed. All of this will be considered when determining your installation quote.
Once our crew begins installing your new geothermal system, we will start with placing the geothermal loops in the ground. For a vertical installation, we will start by drilling a couple of holes, each a few hundred feet deep, where we will install the heat exchange pipes. If doing a horizontal installation, we will start by digging a trench, at least 6 feet deep and 3 feet wide, around your yard to lay out the ground loops for your new geothermal heating and cooling system.
Next we will want to ensure you have a good ductwork system in place to manage the air flow of your home and to transfer the hot and cool from inside the house through your new geothermal heat pump. If your home has a good ductwork system set up already in place, this step may not require much effort to complete. If there is poor ductwork, or none at all, then we will need to build and install a new ductwork system to manage the air flow of your geothermal heating and cooling system.
We will install your geothermal condenser, or heat pump, to control the whole process of managing your home climate control and transferring energy to and from the geothermal system. If you already have a furnace and air conditioner in place, we will begin by removing it from your home to make way for installing the geothermal heat pump.
The last step will be to connect the ground loops with the expansion valve and hook up the ductwork to the freshly installed geothermal heat pump. During this step, we will wire all the electrical connections, ensure the system is safely hooked up to your home’s power supply, and check to make sure the fan is running and able to blow air throughout your house.