28th April 2016
In order to understand why geothermal energy is considered a green alternative to fossil fuel, you must first be familiar with the basic workings of this technology. So how do HVAC systems utilize geothermal energy? HVAC systems are essentially heat pumps – they move heat from one location to another. In the summer they move excess heat inside your home to the exterior of your home. This produces the cooling effect in HVAC. In the winter the opposite takes place. The excess heat in the air outside is moved inside of your home – producing the heating effect of HVAC. Energy is required to move heat. The more heat that is moved, the more energy is required to move it. The greater temperature difference between the inside of your home and the exterior of your home, will require more time, and thus more energy to move heat. So, when it’s hotter outside your HVAC system has to work harder to keep the air inside your home cool, and when it’s cold your system has to work harder to keep it warm. This results in a higher electric bill. This is the tradeoff of conditioning the air temperature inside your home.
What if there were another way to exchange heat, from a more moderate temperature source? There is, and that source is right below your feet.The air temperature in our climate can fluctuate drastically, making it costly to operate your HVAC unit during those times. However, at a certain level below the surface the ground temperature stays fairly constant year round. The ground below your feet stores energy in the form of heat; thus the term geothermal energy. This energy mostly goes unused, but with modern technology, geothermal HVAC systems can now tap this unused source of energy. In the geothermal HVAC process, the excess heat inside your home is pumped into the ground outside of it. This produces cooling. To produce heating the opposite happens, and the excess heat held in the soil is pumped into your home. The benefit of this process is that less energy is required to move heat because of the heat energy stored in the ground. Also, geothermal can be labeled as “green technology” because it produces a smaller environmental footprint. The bottom line for the customer is that less energy is used in conditioning the air. This results in lower electric bills and longer equipment life. Over time the savings realized from a quality geothermal HVAC system can pay for itself many times over. Contact us today and let’s discuss how geothermal can save you money.