What Is Geothermal Heating and What Are Its Benefits

The geothermal energy is one of the green solutions often talked about in the new green area we are desperately trying to start. With a little help of the sunlight, this system can be 100% renewable. Apart from protecting the environment, it can also protect your budget in the long term as it cuts energy bills by 65%.

What are the system components?

This heating system consists of three main parts. The first one is the heat exchanger or a loop which is a system of pipes. The pipes are usually filled with a mix of water and antifreeze. These pipes are buried in the ground, next to the building, horizontally or vertically, depending on the size of the lot and its properties. The loop can be closed or open. An open loop includes a well dug deep underground which supplies the water for the system. The second part is the pump which transmits the heat from and to the building. The last part is the ductwork or the delivery system within the building.

Unlike the air, the earth has insulating qualities and is less prone to dramatic temperature changes. Not the surface itself, but as of 5 feet underground, it retains a constant temperature all year round. During winter the water absorbs the heat from the ground and takes it indoors. Once it gets inside, the heat is compressed to a higher temperature and distributed throughout the building. A reverse process happens in the summer when the heat gets pulled out of the building and back into the earth.

It is environmentally friendly

One of the major qualities of the geothermal system is its environmental impact. The system produces no pollution as it does not rely on fossil fuels to operate. It does use some electricity, but as little as one unit of electricity creates 3 to 5 units of heating/cooling. Apart from no pollution, the energy is reusable and there is no waste created. For a fully sustainable system, you can use solar panels to produce the little electricity it requires to operate.

What Is Geothermal Heating and What Are Its Benefits

The advantages

Knowing that this system works with a clean energy source and is renewable should be considered sufficient when it comes to advantages, however, there is more. You will be able to save long-term on heating and cooling expenses. It is very quiet, and it does not include noisy outdoor fans. It is an investment into the future because it is durable. The loop should stay intact for 50 years at least, while the indoor component lasts about 25 years. The maintenance requirements and costs in the meantime are minimal.

The disadvantages

One of the major downsides of the system is its initial price. While it will definitely help you save in the long run, you will need to put aside some $10,000 – $30,000 for the system. The price is determined based on various criteria including the properties of the land and the size of the system. Even though the first one was built in 1904, when it comes to mass-application, this is still relatively new. This is why there are fewer professionals installing it and that also contributes to the high price. The trouble is that you cannot do it on your own and save. Finally, you can say goodbye to your garden. Once the system is in place, you will need to start a landscaping project to revive your back/front yard.

Who qualifies?

First of all, your home needs to be properly insulated for the system to achieve its full potential. If you have made up your mind, look for renovation solutions involving extra insulation and energy-efficient doors and windows.

Furthermore, you need to be able to obtain the funds required. You can do so through government incentives, that is a portion of it. Also, you can do it at the very beginning and have it accounted for in your mortgage which will take the burden off the initial expense. For lower installation costs, it is preferred if you lived on a large lot with a well or a pond available. Investing in the system will sound more appealing if you already spend great amounts on your energy bills.

We spend a lot of time shopping around for the right house, we invest a lot of money in it, as it is big and, possibly, a lifetime investment. Why not do the same for your heating system? If you intend to spend your life in the house you are currently residing in, or the one you are about to buy, geothermal heating is the right solution for you.

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