Everything you need to know about geothermal heating system

By Thornton Plumbing and Heating

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With the increasing concern for carbon footprint across the world, the time has come that we start focusing on more sustainable resources. In this article, we will be talking about one such resource that is on the rise. Geothermal energy has been long used for water heating and now it has widely gained the attention of homeowners all across the US and even in the Salt Lake City house owners. 

Earlier it was not easy to deploy geothermal system for household jobs, but with the recent technical advances, geothermal energy has become the best alternative for heating and air handling. If you are not yet aware of these systems, we are here to answer all your queries. 

Continue reading to find out all relevant answers:

The mechanism of geothermal heating system

We notice weather and climate change around us all year round, but as you dig deeper into the earth, it is all constant there. Therefore, even if it is cold on the earth’s surface, the inside of it remains the same. To utilize the source a heat pump is installed inside the earth and a connecting unit is placed inside the house. This unit takes advantage of the constant temperature inside the earth to transmit heat inside your house. 

The indoor unit compresses the heat and distributes it to every part of the house. In the summer, it works the opposite way by taking the heat into the earth’s core. With such a mechanism, it becomes rather easier to store and transfer heat that too with the lowest energy consumption. 

Difference between geothermal energy and the conventional HVAC system

The geothermal heating systems need just one pump to use the earth’s heat. Using this energy, it cools and warms your house. The method is fully affordable and environmental friendly. The only use of electricity here’s to manage the compressor and the fan. So, you can expect a lower energy bill. 

On the other hand, your normal AC uses fuels like propane. These systems are also responsible for increasing carbon footprint and cause high electricity bills.

Different types of geothermal loop systems

You can use different geothermal systems based on their heat exchangers. The performance completely depends on what kind of loop it is using, for e.g.

  • Horizontal loops
  • Vertical loops
  • Pond loops
  • Closed loops
  • Slinky loops

The loop system and the heating system, which includes the compressor, air handling unit., and pumps are interconnected. If your system is using a closed loop, the refrigerant keeps circulating within the system, whereas in the open-loop system the refrigerant needs to be changed. 

The vertical loop system goes straight into the earth and needs less space while the horizontal one works the opposite way. 

Maintenance of geothermal system

There is hardly any maintenance related to the geothermal system. Just make sure that the system loop is well installed inside the earth to circulate the fluid. 

As for the rest of the unit, it is located inside the house, so you don’t have to worry about it. Just change the filters occasionally and the same will last for years. 

Installation cost

The only reason people hesitate in putting up a geothermal system is that the setting up cost is higher than the normal system. It costs something between 10,000 to 30,000. The variations of price is because of the factors like loop system, the digging job, compressor type, etc. 

However the one time installation will minimize your electricity bill for years to come and will keep the environment safe. 

Do you need larger land space for installation?

No matter if, you have a small space or a large one, you can still get a geothermal system installed. For small land space, vertical loops are the best, but if you have a farm space, then even horizontal systems will fit in. 

Cons of Geothermal Heating System

  1. The installation is a lengthy process that comprises three steps:
  2. Drilling the ground to install the loop
  3. The loop is connected to the interior of the house
  4. The last step is to replace the existing HVAC system.
  • The total time can range from 2 days to months depending on how quickly you receive the permit from the municipal corporation
  • The upfront cost is a little high 
  • The entire process is messy as you might end up having piles of debris around your house. 

Is it worth the pain?

Yes of course, first-of-all, you are putting on out unnecessary emission of carbon footprint, and second, the energy bill reduces. 

Within 25 years, you would be saving $75,000 on energy bills, which can be a good saving for your retirement. Even though the system runs for 10 years, it will still be beneficial. 

However, before you decide anything, contact your geothermal heating professional and see if it suits your requirements. Some of the factors leading to your decision could be your budget, hosing spaces, how much heating is needed.

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